Immigration

Business Lobby Joins Fight Against Trump’s Legal Immigration Limits

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is already challenging Trump's latest restrictions and abandonment of legal immigration and temporary worker visas, but they now have an ally in the business community itself.

Multiple business lobbies led by the Chamber of Commerce have filed a lawsuit against Trump's limits on H1-B and other visas.

In many cases, this is a threat to their own business operations, but Trump's stated reason for imposing the restriction is also nonsensical.

The plaintiffs, which include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the National Retail Federation, seek to overturn “these sweeping and unlawful immigration restrictions that are an unequivocal ‘not welcome’ sign to the engineers, executives, IT experts, doctors, nurses, and other critical workers who help drive the American economy,” Chamber Chief Executive Officer Thomas Donohue said in an emailed statement. [...]

Trump’s June 22 order repeals entire visa categories for temporary workers, “inflicting severe economic harm on a wide range of American businesses across all economic sectors,” according to the complaint. The plaintiffs argue that it exceeds presidential authority, so federal departments and officials can’t implement or enforce it.

Though Trump cited the coronavirus pandemic, his order doesn’t bear a “rational relationship” to the problem, according to the suit, which seeks a court order finding the restrictions illegal and blocking them.

When they say the order doesn't bear a “rational relationship” to the coronavirus pandemic, what they're saying is Trump is using the pandemic as an excuse to impose a racist policy. And it's a poor excuse!

The United States has the worst coronavirus outbreak in the world and it's not even close. It would make more sense if American workers were shut out of other countries. We're the bigger threat to the health and safety of others.

When Trump is out of office, America's various business lobbies should throw their full weight behind comprehensive immigration reform and put this issue to rest for good or else the next GOP administration will continue to engage in politically-motivated, racist funny business that causes far more harm than it helps anyone. Racist immigration policy has a human and economic cost and virtually no benefit.

Republicans are going to say comprehensive immigration reform is a scheme to elect a permanent Democratic majority, but that is just their cynical way of viewing the world. Comprehensive reform is key to securing economic progress for generations to come and if Republicans are afraid of losing elections they could always try adopting political positions that people actually like instead of always relying on racial resentment.

  • muselet

    I view the lawsuit by the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, the National Retail Federation, et al. in much the same way Charlie Pierce views the Lincoln Project:

    No regular here at the shebeen can fail to have noticed that I have treated the sudden appearance of career Republicans on the right side of this presidential election with what can best be called skeptical gratitude.

    Business groups don’t mind nonsensical or even bizarre immigration rules. What they want is more work visas issued so they can get high-quality employees for less than they’d have to pay US citizens, and that’s what this is about.

    Don’t get me wrong, the “gratitude” part of “skeptical gratitude” is there: even the US Chamber of Commerce, about which I have seldom spoken or typed a flattering word, is on the right side of this and deserves kudos for it. I’m just under no illusions that these groups have seen the light and will advocate for sane policies—including comprehensive immigration reform—in future.

    –alopecia