President-Elect Joe Biden will have another immigration policy decision to make when he assumes office later this month. The ban on immigrants coming to the United States on work-based visas and green cards, that was set to expire this week, has been extended through March. Included in the ban are people coming to the United States on H-1B visas (highly skilled workers in “specialty occupations”), and immigrants coming on “Green Cards” to work or reunite with their families. There are certain exceptions including, the spouses of American citizens.
The bans were originally issued by President Trump in order to protect American workers from foreign competition just as the US economy was beginning to suffer the effects of the pandemic shutdowns.
In a suit brought by the US Chamber of Commerce, which represents a significant number of silicon valley employers, a previous court order allowed them to continue to bring in foreign employees. The questions arise as to how the ban extension will affect the court order, and whether or not the ban is having a significant negative impact on the technology industry since so many employees work remotely.
Although President-elect Biden has not yet indicated how he will respond to the ban extension, along with many other immigration issues at hand, it’s likely that Trump’s immigration policies will be rolled back more slowly than originally stated, in order to control the spread of COVID-19.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, The Economic Times, Bloomberg.

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