WESLACO, Texas– The Trump administration temporarily suspending work visas for thousands of foreign workers, leaving those seeking employment with fewer opportunities.
COVID-19 has had a large impact on our workforce and now–the halt on immigration work visas will last until the end of this year.
“Our businesses need the assurance that they’re going to have the workforce needs they are requiring so when we limit the workforce opportunities and options they have that might be difficult for them,” said Barbara Garza, President and CEO for the Weslaco Chamber of Commerce.
The order suspends a number of visas including the H-1B visa for specialized fields like technology and the H-2B visa for non-agricultural workers, which could largely impact the Rio Grande Valley.
“We have of course some of those situations from different sectors of business but I guess one of the biggest impacted ones is going to be manufacturing and maquiladoras, that’s going to be the main one,” said Luis Cantu, Vice President for International Business at the McAllen Chamber of Commerce.
The Trump administration’s decision aimed at benefiting Americans looking for employment during the pandemic, but others say this hurts businesses looking for talent outside the United States.
“Companies are looking for someone who has a very high specification in some field that may not be available in the United States, and that’s when the impact is serious,” said Cantu.
According to officials, this temporary suspension will not affect those with current visas and those in the medical field.
Workers seeking employment visas will not be able to apply for one until December 31, 2020.