President Donald Trump’s executive order restricting entry of skilled foreign workers into the US, mainly on H-1B and L-1 visas, has resulted in an estimated loss of USD 100 billion to companies and will have lasting negative impacts on firms here, according to a prominent American think-tank.
The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. L-1 visa is for internal company transfers.
The executive order signed by Trump on June 22, that had temporarily banned issuing fresh H-1B and L-1 visas till December 31, caused a negative impact to the valuation of Fortune 500 firms equivalent to over USD 100 billion in losses, Brookings Institute said in a report released this week.
According to estimates, the order barred the entrance of nearly 200,000 foreign workers and their dependents, said the report co-authored by Prithwiraj Choudhury, Indian-American Lumry Family Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Dany Bahasr from Brookings and Britta Glennon from the University of Pennsylvania.
Noting that the nonimmigrant visas (such as the H-1B and L-1 visas) that were targeted are used by companies to hire or transfer high-skilled immigrants, the report said there was overwhelming evidence documenting that skilled immigration improves firm outcomes such as profits, productivity, production expansion, innovation, and investment.
“Thus, it is plausible that the Trump administration’s measures significantly restraining immigration will have lasting negative impacts on American firms, and with it, slow down the post-COVID-19 economic recovery,” it argued.