GOP lawmakers urge Trump to temporarily suspend guest worker programs

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GOP members of the House of Representatives lead by House Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., have asked President Trump to halt new guest worker visas temporarily.

“My colleagues and I urge President Trump to suspend granting new guest worker visas for at least one year so that Americans are not forced to compete with foreign labor as our nation recovers,” Biggs told Fox News.

In a letter to the president, conservative House members reportedly applauded measures that the president took last month when he signed an executive order limiting immigration into the U.S. for 60 days but asked that he expand the restrictions to cover temporary workers.

TRUMP SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER TEMPORARILY SUSPENDING IMMIGRATION INTO US AMID CORONAVIRUS

“As we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak, it is important that we continue to look out for their economic welfare,” Biggs said Wednesday night. “More than 36 million Americans have filed for unemployment and, even as states and counties begin to reopen, jobs are scarce.”

GOP members of Congress have been urging Trump to block new guest worker visas, saying that Americans out of work due to the coronavirus should fill these positions first.

The letter submitted to the president Wednesday said, “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,” as reported by The Hill.

Other conservative House members who reportedly signed the petition included Reps. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz, Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and Steve King, R-Iowa.

Temporary worker visas, often called guest worker visas, allow international immigrants to live and work the United States for a fixed period of time, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

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Guest workers frequently fill labor positions, particularly in the agriculture industry, but they can also fill positions requiring highly skilled employees.

“American workers appreciate the value President Trump has placed on them during his time in office and will appreciate this action,” Biggs told Fox News.