The Chamber of Commerce was dealt a blow on Monday after failing to convince President Donald Trump not to prioritize unemployed Americans for U.S. jobs over imported foreign visa workers.
On Monday, Trump expanded an executive order to halt the H-1B, H-4, H-2B, L-1, L-2, and J-1 visa programs while more than 40 million Americans are unemployed and underemployed.
Altogether, along with regulatory reforms to asylum loopholes and the H-1B visa program, the move is expected to free up about 600,000 U.S. jobs for Americans that would have otherwise been filled by foreign visa workers.
In a statement, Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue said prioritizing Americans for U.S. jobs over foreign visa workers “won’t help our country” and declared a “new level of urgency” to fight Trump on the issue:
Today’s proclamation is a severe and sweeping attempt to restrict legal immigration. Putting up a “not welcome” sign for engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other workers won’t help our country, it will hold us back. Restrictive changes to our nation’s immigration system will push investment and economic activity abroad, slow growth, and reduce job creation.
We are fighting for more investment and more growth in America because that means more jobs, and today that fight takes on a new level of urgency. We have long advocated for a rational immigration system that meets the needs of our economy and reflects the values of our country. Today’s proclamation serves neither of those interests. The U.S. Chamber will continue to strongly advocate for an immigration system that serves the interests of all Americans.
Trump’s expansion of the order is a blow to a failed lobbying effort by the Chamber of Commerce, which had asked the president to increase legal immigration even while tens of millions of Americans are unemployed and looking for work.
The Chamber of Commerce has a financial interest in keeping immigration levels high so as to drive down labor costs, import new consumers, and drive up the price of real estate.
The wage-depression scheme has impacted blue-collar American workers and white-collar American professionals alike.
Specifically, in a given year, more than 100,000 foreign workers are brought to the U.S. on the H-1B visa and are allowed to stay for up to six years. There are about 650,000 H-1B visa foreign workers in the U.S. at any given moment.
Americans are often laid off in the process and forced to train their foreign replacements, as highlighted by Breitbart News. More than 85,000 Americans annually potentially lose their jobs to foreign labor through the H-1B visa program.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.