Less than ten percent of the total number of green cards rewarded annually to foreign nationals will be affected by President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily pausing a sliver of legal immigration to the United States.
On Wednesday, Trump signed an executive order pausing employment-based and extended family green card categories for 60 days. The order is much narrower, according to Fox News’s Tucker Carlson, than originally intended.
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Director of Research Matt O’Brien told Breitbart News in a statement that Trump’s order will likely only slow about 5,000 to 80,000 green card applications — less than ten percent of the roughly 1.2 million green cards that are given to foreign nationals every year.
O’Brien said the at least 60-day delay for these green card applicants may go unnoticed to many attempting to enter the U.S. as standard visa processing has already been disrupted due to the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
“There are a larger number of temporary visa applicants who could be nominally affected by any moratorium,” O’Brien said. “However, since air, land, and marine travel across U.S. borders is virtually shut down anyway, it’s difficult to say whether these folks will even notice a temporary pause in the processing of their visa applications.”
During a segment on Wednesday, Carlson said Trump’s original draft of the executive order “would have suspended several guest worker programs, the ones that prevent qualified Americans from getting jobs” but that the draft was later gutted down to only include a small group of employment-based and extended family green card applicants who are not yet in the U.S.
“Every year, 180,000 new H-1B visas are awarded, and more than 200,000 are extended for a longer period. These are not for people picking grapes or lettuce. These are for people making good wages in white-collar jobs,” Carlson said. “Currently, there are about 470,000 active beneficiaries of this program … suspending that program for a year would open up a massive number of jobs at a time when we desperately need them because we have so many unemployed more than ever.”
“The final version … does not restrict any foreign workers at all,” Carlson said. All of them are free to keep coming here and taking American jobs, including high-paying American jobs.”
Carlson said a number of officials with the White House, Department of Labor, and the Council of Economic Advisors warned against pausing foreign worker visa programs, concerned about the backlash from multinational corporations like Apple.
“They argued that the unemployment benefits in the coronavirus stimulus bill were so generous, that American citizens would refuse to go back to work,” Carlson said. “So we have to bring in more foreigners. Welfare for you. Real jobs for foreign nationals.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.