US President Donald Trump suspended the entry into the United States of certain foreign workers on Monday, a move the White House said would help the coronavirus-battered economy, but which business groups strongly oppose, Ted Hesson wrote for Reuters on June 23, 2020.

Trump issued a presidential proclamation that temporarily blocks foreign workers entering on H-1B visas, which are for skilled employees, and L visas, for managers and specialized workers being transferred within a company. Trump also blocked those entering on H-2B seasonal worker visas, which are used by landscapers and other industries.

The visa suspension, which runs to the end of the year, will open up 525,000 jobs for US workers, a senior administration official said on a call with reporters. The official, who did not explain how the administration arrived at that figure, said the move was geared at “getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible.”

But businesses including major tech companies and the US Chamber of Commerce said the visa suspension would stifle the economic recovery after the damage done by the pandemic. Critics of the measure say Trump is using the pandemic to enact his longstanding goal to limit immigration into the US. The immediate effects of the proclamation will likely be limited, as US consulates around the world remain closed for most routine visa processing.