Public servants see the advantages of the extended ban on green cards issued outside the United States until the end of the year and the addition of many temporary work visas to the freeze, including those used heavily by technology companies and multinational corporations.
Though the Trump administration cast the effort as a way to free up jobs in an economy reeling from COVID-19, Sarah Pierce of the Migration Policy Institute says there are legitimate concerns about some of the guest worker programs. She tells CBS News the president's proclamation will hurt U.S. companies that rely on foreign workers, and it will not necessarily prompt them to hire American nationals.
But speaking on "Sandy Rios in the Morning on AFR Talk," Ken Cuccinelli of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said the president's action is putting American workers first.
"Beyond that, on a more permanent basis, he has also instructed us to implement extensive and long-needed reforms to the high-tech visa program so that Americans are more competitive again, so that the system can't be abused to displace Americans," said Cuccinelli. "The most infamous example is the Disney employees having to train their foreign replacements."
Early in 2016, attorney Sara Blackwell filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two former tech employees of Disney after the corporation hired H-1B visa recipients from overseas. The lawsuit accused Disney of violating Title VII, which bans discrimination under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and of RICO-like violations, claiming the Fortune 500 corporation colluded with two hiring firms to misrepresent hiring plans in visa paperwork.
Cuccinelli says that sort of thing will go away under this president.
"There are others as well using biometrics for people coming in so that we have more security and doing security checks beforehand," he continued. "We're also going to stop giving out work permits to people who are not here legally, even if we parole them in or do other things. But they will not be eligible to work, and we want to take away all those incentives for people to cheat the system."
Speaking recently on "Washington Watch," Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks said, "When you've got that kind of rampant unemployment, it makes absolute no sense whatsoever to force these newly unemployed to compete with cheap foreign labor."
In the phase where employers are competing for the labor that is in America, Brooks says they would have to offer higher wages in order to attract the Americans to do the jobs that those employers want done.
The ban, while temporary, would amount to major restructuring of legal immigration if made permanent -- a goal that had eluded the administration before the pandemic.