A judge on Thursday temporarily lifted a visa ban on a large number of work permits imposed by the Trump administration to reportedly protect American jobs amid coronavirus economic turmoil.
The ban took effect in June and was scheduled to last until the end of the year. It applies to H-1B visas, which are mainly used by major technology companies, H-2B visas for nonagricultural seasonal workers, J visas for cultural exchanges and L visas for managers and other key employees of multinational corporations.
“U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said his ruling applied to members of organizations that sued the administration — the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers, National Retail Federation, TechNet, a technology industry group, and Intrax Inc., which sponsors cultural exchanges,” the Associated Press reported.
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“White, ruling in Oakland, California, said his order didn’t extend beyond those groups. But he noted they are comprised of “hundreds of thousands of American businesses of all sizes from a cross-section of economic sectors,” including Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc.,” AP added.
White said President Trump likely acted outside bounds of his authority, AP added.
The judge, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote that “there must be some measure of constraint on Presidential authority in the domestic sphere in order not to render the executive an entirely monarchical power in the immigration context, an area within clear legislative prerogative.”
The Trump administration has tried to limit legal immigration during the coronavirus outbreak, saying it will protect American jobs.
AP noted that “it was the second time in three days that White blocked a significant change on immigration. On Tuesday, he halted major fee increases for citizenship and other benefits three days before they were to take effect.”