Joe Biden Restarts Filling U.S. Jobs with Foreign Workers as 17 Million Americans Are Jobless
President Joe Biden has restarted allowing companies to fill scarce U.S. jobs with foreign workers after a major lobbying effort by big business interests, even as more than 17 million Americans remain jobless.
In April 2020, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order halting a number of employment-based and extended family-based green card categories. The order sought to reduce foreign labor market competition against millions of Americans facing joblessness and underemployment as a result of the Chinese coronavirus crisis.
Two months ago, Trump renewed the order prioritizing unemployed Americans for U.S. jobs while nearly 18 million were unemployed at the time. Corporate interests fiercely opposed the order because the nation’s current legal immigration levels help them increase profit margins while cutting overall wage costs.
On Wednesday, Biden revoked the order after lobbying from tech corporations and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, who have sought to continue importing foreign workers rather than recruiting unemployed Americans for jobs.
Biden claims the order “does not advance the interests” of Americans because it does not continue the process known as “chain migration” — whereby newly naturalized citizens can bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country — and prevented foreign nationals from arriving in the U.S. through the Diversity Visa Lottery in which new arrivals are randomly chosen.
In his revocation, Biden also went to bat for corporate interests who hire foreign workers over qualified Americans, claiming the order “harms industries in the U.S. that utilize talent from around the world.”