July 27, 2020
Fast Facts
Bringing Business Up to Speed
Federal Issues

Employer groups sue over Trump administration limits on H-1B and other worker visas

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the National Retail Federation have joined other employer advocates in a lawsuit seeking to overturn new rules by the Trump administration that limit visas for foreign workers, including those on H-1B visas issued to highly skilled workers in specialty fields.

The lawsuit was filed in federal court in San Francisco on Tuesday against the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department. The suit argues that President Donald Trump exceeded his authority last month when he halted access to employment-based visas for hundreds of thousands of people wanting to work in the United States.

The suit seeks 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,” U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue said.

NAM Senior Vice President and General Counsel Linda Kelly added, “our industry should be laser-focused on leading our recovery and renewal, but these visa restrictions will hand other countries a competitive advantage because they will drive talented individuals away from the United States.”

Bloomberg has more on the suit.

« Back to Main
Stay Safe Washington
Prepare for Post-Pandemic Life

When the mills close, what's next?

By Mac Alexander Macdonald

What do communities do when their chief sources of income evaporate?

"Re-galvanize and reinvent," says Marc Abshire, executive director of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce. But what can we do as citizens to contribute to making this a place where industry wants to locate? What will people in the future want to purchase or acquire, and then how do we attract those companies, while nurturing the businesses we currently have? Complacency is not an option, and neither is hope alone.

For a company to partner with an area, it needs a ready and ample workforce. Are people being trained for the skills needed? Will enough housing be available? Will company executives and workers feel comfortable having their medical needs met? Will all employees feel comfortable having their kids educated in the local schools?

Robert Duvall's second famous line in the movie "Apocalypse Now" was, "Someday this war is going to end." Someday this pandemic will be over, so we need to prepare now. Communities like mine need to lay aside rivalries and attract passengers to their future train. It has been well quoted: When the time for action arrives, the time for preparation has passed.

Read the full guest column in The Seattle Times