WASHINGTON, DC – Today, FWD.us is proud to join nearly 50 leading companies, trade associations and organizations, and attorneys in filing an amicus brief in response to the Trump Administration’s proposal to suspend various non-immigrant visa programs, including the H-1B, H-2B, J and L visa programs. The amicus brief is available here, including a list of all signatories.
Signatories of the amicus include many of the largest employers from across the economy. They join in support of the lawsuits filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, TechNet and others in two cases, NAM v DHS and Gomez v Trump, that stated that the actions by the Trump Administration are “inflicting severe economic harm.”
The brief outlines how the drastic cuts to legal immigration enacted by the Trump Administration will exacerbate the severe economic impacts of COVID-19 felt by communities across the country. Suspending these vital immigration programs would particularly do long-term damage to the U.S. economy by shrinking GDP, hurting middle class workers and denying American families the opportunity to reunite with their loving parents and children.
According to the Administration’s own estimates, the President’s actions will prevent over half a million work-authorized individuals from coming to the United States by year’s end, hurting economic recovery for U.S. businesses. Experts also estimate the proclamation will prevent roughly 20,000 employers from filling positions during that same period, jeopardizing key industries from food supply to healthcare and transportation.
Todd Schulte, President, FWD.us: “Slashing legal immigration avenues will inflict serious long-term damage to our economic stability, recovery and growth, particularly as the U.S. economy attempts to rebuild from the devastation of the COVID-19 crisis. The future of our nation’s economic security and growth stems from the contributions of hardworking immigrants — not from scapegoating the very population that for centuries has been a cornerstone of our country’s economic engine.”
On June 22, 2020, President Trump signed a proclamation that suspends—through the end of the year and as long thereafter as he deems “necessary”—issuance of new nonimmigrant visas in large swaths of the country’s legal immigration system, including the H-1B, H-2B, J, and L non-immigrant visa programs. The stated ground for the suspension is that entry of nonimmigrant workers is “detrimental to the interests of the United States” given “economic disruptions caused by the COVID-19 outbreak” and a purported lack of “alternative means to protect unemployed Americans from the threat of competition for scarce jobs.” According to the Administration’s own estimates, the President’s actions will prevent over half a million work-authorized individuals from coming to the United States by year’s end. And experts estimate the proclamation will prevent roughly 20,000 employers from filling positions during that same period.
A diverse set of parties—including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, and many affected businesses and individuals—have recently filed suit in California and D.C. federal courts to challenge the President’s unilateral action. The parties allege the proclamation contravenes several provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, violates the Administrative Procedure Act, and violates the Constitution’s separation of powers and Due Process Clause.
The Amicus Brief
The brief on behalf of leading companies and business associations will focus on the real-world impact of suspending these vital immigration programs, highlighting the harms posed to the business community and the economy more broadly, and ultimately rebutting the faulty premise that these immigration avenues and nonimmigrant workers somehow exacerbate the economic impacts of COVID-19.