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Congressman Biggs Urges President Trump to Suspend Grants of Guestworker Visas

May 20, 2020
Press Release

GILBERT, ARIZONA – This week, Congressman Andy Biggs and five colleagues sent a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to suspend granting new guestworker visas for at least one year so that Americans are not forced to compete with foreign labor as the nation recovers from the coronavirus outbreak. Congressman Biggs issued the following statement:

“President Trump has continuously prioritized Americans when determining our nation’s immigration policies. As we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important that we continue to look out for their economic welfare. More than 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment and, even as states and counties begin to reopen, jobs are scarce. My colleagues and I urge President Trump to suspend granting new guestworker visas for at least one year so that Americans are not forced to compete with foreign labor as our nation recovers. American workers appreciate the value President Trump has placed on them during his time in office and will appreciate this action.”

Read the letter below:

May 19, 2020

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Trump,

Thank you for the steps you have taken to limit the number of immigrants who are permitted to enter the United States during the COVID-19 outbreak. As we move into our tenth week of economic shutdowns we support extending and expanding your policies regarding immigration. Our government’s response to this outbreak should continue to prioritize the health and wellbeing of Americans.

Your April 22, 2020, proclamation “Suspending Entry of Immigrants Who Present Risk to the U.S. Labor Market During the Economic Recovery Following the COVID-19 Outbreak” rightly restricts some categories of immigration. The proclamation leaves untouched hundreds of thousands of guestworkers who impact the labor market.

More than 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment and the overall unemployment rate hit 14.7 percent. That doesn’t account for the Americans who, even with expanded eligibility, do not qualify for unemployment benefits, who may not have applied for the government benefit, or are waiting in line due to inadequate state resources to receive and process claims.

We should not force Americans to compete with foreign nationals while jobs are scarce, and Americans should get priority consideration for employment when businesses are able to reopen. We urge you to suspend granting any new guestworker visas for at least one year, and potentially longer depending on the strength of the economy.

Our nation’s guestworker policies are ostensibly designed to fill gaps in our labor market. While we have varying opinions on the necessity of our existing guestworker programs and the number of guestworkers that should be permitted each year, there is very little, if any, need for new foreign labor right now.

From high-skilled to low-skilled workers, from new college graduates to late-career Americans, you have restored value in American employees and any additional actions you take to protect them will be well appreciated.

We look forward to working with you to reopen the American economy and doing all we can to bring back every job lost during this outbreak.

Sincerely,

Andy Biggs
Member of Congress

Louie Gohmert
Member of Congress

Brian Babin, D.D.S.
Member of Congress

            Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S.
            Member of Congress

Mo Brooks
Member of Congress

Steve King
Member of Congress