A nonprofit organization, known as US Tech Workers, has urged America’s government to suspend for this year the H-1B and H-2B visa programs, to protect their interest amid coronavirus pandemic.
Through a letter addressed to the US President, Donald Trump, the organization asked the suspension of these two programs amid the economic shutdown, due to COVID-19.
“We have written a letter asking that the H-1B & H-2B visa program be suspended for this year due to the economic fallout from the coronavirus. Letters have been sent to the office of the President, to his Chief of Staff, & all members of congress,” the organization’s statement reads.
Through an H-1B visa, internationals specialized in specific skills such as IT professionals, professors, architects, etc., can be able to temporarily work in the US, while the H-2B visas are jobs designed for some specific industries, in whose foreign citizens are eligible to work, including cruise ships, resorts, and theme parks, construction, etc.
The US body representing American technology workers said that under this global crisis, it’s concerning that the Department of Homeland Security is working to accelerate the delivery of H-1B and H2-B workers to the US, VisaGuide.World reports.
On the other hand, on March 21, it was reported that a total of 3.3 million persons in America had been laid off, while 47 million could also be unemployed.
“We urge you to pause the H-1B visa program that would bring in 85,000 workers this year and suspend the recently approved addition of 35,000 workers for the H-2B visa. Overall the importation of workers should be undertaken with great caution during this period of tremendous uncertainty,” the letter dedicated to President Trump reads.
The organization added that amid the coronavirus and the fallout of the country’s economy, it’s not the time to approve temporary employment visas for more international workers.
Economic experts stressed that massive layoffs in various sectors of the American economy are only going to deteriorate during the coming months.
A report released by Institute think-tank CATO, revealed that up to 200,000 petitions field for Indian citizens could die of old age before receiving a green card.
Statistics from the US government, under the Freedom of Information Act, showed that the US government had approved more than one million petitions for workers, investors and their families, who have been ineligible to receive a legal permanent residence as a result of low green card caps.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration agency announced during this week that the limit for preliminary applications for H-1B visas had been reached.
The USCIS also revealed that the visa cap for the H-2B visa for the second half of the cap for year (FY) 2020 has been reached, as well.