Immigration

Biden Lets Trump Work Visa Ban Expire

The decision opens the door to numerous immigrant workers, and moots out ongoing litigation against the Trump policy.

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Yesterday, President Biden allowed Donald Trump's ban on a wide range of temporary work visas for foreign workers to expire. He thereby ended a badly flawed policy enacted by the previous administration on the pretext that it was needed to benefit the US economy and curb the spread of Covid. In February, Biden revoked Trump's accompanying policy barring nearly all entry by immigrants seeking permanent residency in the United States.

Between these two moves, Biden has ended a period when the US was more closed off to immigration than at any previous point in its history. In truth, Biden should have ended the work visa ban earlier, as he did with the immigration ban. As he himself pointed out during the presidential campaign, the visa bans did nothing to protect the US, and "also harms industries in the United States that utilize talent from around the world."

But late is still a lot better than never. And I have to admit that Biden has ended both policies faster than I initially thought he would. I outlined the legal and policy flaws in the migration and visa bans in greater detail in a June 2020 article in The Atlantic.

The expiration of the work visa ban probably moots out ongoing litigation challenging its legality. In October, a federal district court ruled against the Trump administration on this issue, in part because the sweeping power claimed by Trump (and later continued for a time by Biden) violates nondelegation principles. The court issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the ban against the many employers who are members of the the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, and other industry groups who were plaintiffs in the case.

The nondelegation issue raised in that case is an extremely important one, with applications to a wide range of other immigration and trade restrictions. See my discussion here, here, here, and here.

While Biden deserves credit for revoking the work visa restrictions and immigration bans, and for such measures as ending Trump's "travel bans" against residents of numerous Muslim-majority nations, he has not yet ended all of the previous administration's dubious immigration policies. Among other things, he is to blame for perpetuating its Title 42 expulsions of most migrants crossing the Mexican border, a policy which is to blame for much of the current crisis involving unaccompanied minors apprehended at the border (as the continued expulsion of family groups incentivizes families to send children to cross on their own).

Like the visa bans, the Title 42 expulsions are of dubious legality  and do not actually benefit public health. Indeed, they were enacted by the Trump White House  over the opposition of CDC scientists, who believed them to be unnecessary.

The Biden administration has taken a number of valuable steps to undo the harmful immigration policies of its predecessor. But there is plenty of room for further progress.

NEXT: The Ninth Circuit Still Does Not Understand SCOTUS COVID-19 Free Exercise Clause Cases

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  1. Hi, Ilya. Law professors from India would love to work for $25000 a year. Let’s bring in 10000 of them. Try to reduce the cost of law school. They speak the King’s English, are expert in British common law. With a month’s CLE, they would know as much as you about your subjects.

    Waiting for your support for this policy.

    1. You are on target, while at Tulane studying for my LL.M I had a colleague from Bombay. We became very good friends, and truth be told he could have schooled even the professors in British Common Law. Fortunately we where there for the Admiralty degree.

  2. I will enjoy the replacement of those Democrats by immigrants in the jobs created by President Trump. That will keep wages low again, and enrich the tech billionaires greatly.

    1. Goofball is still goofball. The percent of the US workforce that was foreign born did not go down under Trump, in fact it increased (16.9% in 2016, 17.1% in 2018, 17.4% in 2020).

      1. Yeah, because some Obama judge was always there to issue a nationwide injunction against anything he tried to do to stem the flow of illiterate third worlders.

        1. The point of my reply still stands, even an illiterate first worlder such as yourself should see that.

  3. I am sure that all of the employees at Disney who had to train their replacements or forfeit any type of benefit agree with you.

  4. Jobs for American citizens…..yeah that is a “flawed” public policy….

    1. Jimmy, I still remember my late grandfather (born in the 1880s) railing about the “G** Damned Foreigners.”

      What Ilya doesn’t understand is that a century ago, Americans decided that they has simply had ENOUGH and actually shut off ALL immigration, not merely reduced it like Trump did.

      What Ilya doesn’t realize is how popular nativist movements such as the Klan were a century ago. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1PvjywyPKk

      What Ilya doesn’t understand is that history repeats itself.

      1. In this case, I sure the fuck hope history repeats itself.

        The 20th century was THE American century – partly because of the success of the God Damned Foreigners your grandfather (wrongly) complained about.

        And what the hell….is God really going to smite you (or whatever he/she/ze does), if you actually spell G-O-D?

        1. No, it wasn’t. America’s heyday developed during the period from 1924-1965, when immigration was basically shut off.

          1. During the Progressive and New Deal eras, eh?

      2. I dunno, if the Klu Klux Klan, historic or latter-day, think it’s bad, its probably good.

        1. I know right? This is up there with Cruz invoking the Compromise of 1876 as a positive.

      3. Ed once again trots out his ‘but my side is and has been full of violent angry people about to become terrorists!’ as though that’s an argument that helps him.

        1. One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.

          1. Nah, some are just terrorists plain and simple

    2. When did libertarians start thinking the job of government was to secure people’s employment? Little guidance for the invisible hand I guess.

      1. I believe that Libertarians still believe that with this article as proof. It is the LINOs commenting that disagree.

      2. They started thinking that when it became clear that every illiterate peasant who came here would get free stuff.

    3. Jobs for American citizens…..yeah that is a “flawed” public policy….

      That’s not a policy. That’s an objective.

  5. Well, between this and his work on the illegal immigration front, unemployment rates should start edging back up again. Always a plus for a party whose business plan is buying votes by taxing the wealthy and putting everybody else on the dole.

  6. Minorities hardest hit.

    Why do the Democrats insist on screwing their base?

    1. They have to. If the minorities start to succeed, they might vote Republican.

      1. So then why do impoverished Appalachian and rural Southern whites vote Republican? If people voted in their own best interest, Alabama would be deep blue.

        1. Culturally, a lot of minority populations are closer to rural southern whites. Religious, rural values, etc.

          By emphasizing racial divides and by emphasizing counterproductive policies which keep minorities poor, Democrats keep minorities voting democrat because they view themselves as depending on the government

          Eliminate those counterproductive policies, and allow for true growth and success, and there will be little separating them from the “rural whites”…and then it’s a big problem for Democrats.

          1. Nice spin, but not buying it. You are right that a lot of right-wing religious voters view abortion and gay marriage as more important than their own economic security; I’ve got family members who fit that category. But all that proves is that people often aren’t very good at identifying and acting in what is really their own best interest.

            I’m not sure that trying to end racial discrimination is “emphasizing racial divides” any more than trying to end domestic violence is “emphasizing gender divides”; that’s just an inflammatory buzzword designed to keep real problems from being addressed. But it’s a joke to claim that Democratic policies keep minorities poor, when the wealth divide between rich and poor has grown so much under the Republicans. Under the GOP, we’ve seen a massive transfer of wealth from the poor to the rich. So the claim that Democratic policies breed poverty, or even make it worse, is just not borne out by the numbers.

            1. “But all that proves is that people often aren’t very good at identifying and acting in what is really their own best interest.”

              -Shouldn’t people choose for themselves what their own best interest is?

              “I’m not sure that trying to end racial discrimination”
              -Democrats aren’t doing that. They’re embracing policies that EMPHASIZE racial discrimination.

              “when the wealth divide between rich and poor has grown so much under the Republicans”
              -The Gini Coefficient shrank under Trump….
              https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-fed-families/u-s-income-inequality-narrowed-slightly-over-last-three-years-fed-idUSKBN26J2LZ

              1. People can certainly choose what they think is in their own best interests; people often make mistakes, as anyone who is in a bad marriage, or wishes they had chosen a different career path, or regrets a wasted youth can tell you. I would argue that thinking that being able to prevent your gay neighbors from getting married is somehow more in your best interests than your own economic security is likewise mistaken.

                And if your argument is that affirmative action is race discrimination, you’re wrong, for reasons I’ve already given in other threads.

                Also, yes, the Gini Coefficient did shrink slightly under Trump, but if you look at it over a 20 year period, the trend is clear that poor people are worse off under Republicans.

                1. “…is likewise mistaken.”

                  You can think whatever you want. But time and time again, it’s been shown that people thinking what their own best interests are, on average, does better than a “superior authority” determining what their best interests are.

                  Discrimination is discrimination. Putting people in racial categories and granting them special benefits based on race is wrong.

                  Any evidence for your “past 20 years” assertion? Any comparison to the other party?

                  1. You know, I would really like to see some data for your claim that people are any good at deciding what’s in their own best interests. Why do people keep doing stupid things for which the results are entirely predictable? If people made good choices, there would be no drug addiction, no bad marriages, no jails, no smokers, and a hell of a lot fewer gun deaths.

                    For evidence of my past 20 years assertion, a simple google search for “wealth gap under Republicans” turned up plenty. Here’s one to start:

                    https://www.russellsage.org/sites/all/files/u4/Bartels_Partisan%20Politics_0.pdf

                    And calling affirmative action race discrimination is wrong for the same reason it’s wrong to say that a firefighter who enters a burning house to save someone is breaking and entering. Or that a parent who grounds a disobedient child is guilty of false imprisonment. Or that a prison official who gives someone a lethal injection is guilty of murder. Technically, all of those are true, but they are not defined that way, and for good reason.

                    1. Krychek,

                      If you’re going to make a statement about the past 20 years don’t use a paper that was released in 2004. That’s just embarrassing.

                    2. “You know, I would really like to see some data for your claim that people are any good at deciding what’s in their own best interests. Why do people keep doing stupid things for which the results are entirely predictable? If people made good choices, there would be no drug addiction, no bad marriages, no jails, no smokers, and a hell of a lot fewer gun deaths.”

                      Oyyy…. What I said was this.

                      ” But time and time again, it’s been shown that people thinking what their own best interests are, on average, does better than a “superior authority” determining what their best interests are.”

                      This discussion is a much larger philosophical argument.

                    3. In terms of the larger philosphical argument.

                      1. People will make bad decisions if they are allowed to for themselves. This is undoubtedly true. However…

                      2. Superior authorities will also make bad decisions for people if allowed to. This has been true throughout history.

                      When people make the decisions for themselves, the information delay is smaller and the self-motivation feedback is higher. Let’s give you an example. “People make bad marriages”. Absolutely true. However, when people make a bad marriage, they experience it. They then are motivated to end it sooner.

                      Compare this to the opposite situation. “Supreme Authority” tells these two people to get married. Say they are unhappy. SA can make mistakes…it’s only human. But the information delay is longer. It takes SA longer to really know about it. Then, perhaps SA allows them a divorce. Perhaps it doesn’t. It’s not super-motivated…it’s just another marriage. If they’re unhappy, well, lots of people are. And it’s for the good of society.

                    4. And you think much has changed in that respect since 2004?

                    5. Of course people in authority make mistakes. Every parent makes mistakes. We don’t abolish parenting because parents make mistakes. Though we do put outer limits on it; you can’t pimp out your kid as a prostitute; you can’t discipline your child by breaking his arm. So the claim that supreme authority makes mistakes, without more, isn’t all that helpful.

                      In general, you should be able to make any choices you like so long as they don’t affect anyone else. In practice, there’s a whole lot of what you do that affects other people. So the trick is to strike a proper balance. That’s a lot of hard work, because striking the proper balance has a lot of moving parts. But it’s better than either a facile claim of authority bad, or freedom bad.

                    6. Krychek,

                      Re point 1:
                      If you’re going to make an argument about the “last 20 years”, then don’t cite a paper from 2004, then try to argue “You think much has changed since 2004?” If you had cited something from 2018, 2017, or even maybe 2014 I wouldn’t have blinked. But 2004? Cutting off 80% of your time span?

                      Look at the data. Don’t assume. The Gini coefficients in the US for each of the last 20 years are public information. You may be surprised.

                      2. Children are not adults. This is well established. Make better arguments. I’ve already given the “without more” argument. Your “Supreme Authority” argument is deeply flawed.

                      I’ll leave you will a quote. Examine why it is accurate.

                      “Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…”

                    7. If the Gini coefficients from the past 20 years supported your position, you’d have already cited them. There’s a reason you just picked the last three years. I did look at them; there are blips along the way, but overall, when the GOP is in power the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

                      No children are not adults, but that wasn’t the point. The point is that authority makes mistakes. Anyone in authority makes mistakes. Whether their authority is over children or over other adults. So without more, that’s not really an argument. It’s an argument for having checks and balances over how much authority someone has. And in the over 40 years that I’ve been practicing law, I’ve seen enough stupid things that people have done that I’m far from convinced that at least some people wouldn’t be better off if someone else did make their decisions. (Which I’m not advocating; just pointing out that the libertarian idea of people acting in their own enlightened self interest is largely a fiction.)

                      And I’m not sure where you’re going with that last quote. Are you asking me to comment on whether I think democracy is the least-worst form of government?

                    8. Krychek,

                      “If the Gini coefficients from the past 20 years supported your position, you’d have already cited them. There’s a reason you just picked the last three years. I did look at them; there are blips along the way, but overall, when the GOP is in power the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.”

                      1. You are quite bluntly, incorrect. You have no evidence to support your point, ESPECIALLY in comparison to the Democratic Presidents. Your rebuttal that I “would’ve have already cited them” is WRONG. But I WILL cite them for your benefit below. This tendency to ALWAYS demand proof, without needed to look at it for yourself is embarrassing. Especially when you are consistently incorrect. Correct your thinking to account for the actual data, and not your preconceived ideological notions.

                      https://www.statista.com/statistics/219643/gini-coefficient-for-us-individuals-families-and-households/

                    9. It’s not a matter of Democratic presidents. It’s a matter of Democratic policies actually being enacted. The last six years of Obama’s presidency, the Republicans obstructed everything he wanted to do. So you have to look at the policies the Democrats actually successfully get enacted, not just who is in the White House.

        2. Some people consider a strong moral fiber to be in their best interest. So yes, they’d rather forgo $2,000 in government stimmy checks than have to worship a man who likes to erupt in another man’s tuchis.

          1. You sure do obsess a lot about gay butt sex.

            1. It was always on his mind, it was always…on…his mind!

  7. Isn’t this just subsidizing Big Tech?
    Does Big Tech really need government help to import cheap foreign labor to displace their higher-paid American counterparts?
    Is this a wise move at this time in the context of an economy damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic?

    1. The wisdom of a move depends on your goals.

      As I wrote above, the business plan of the Democratic party consists of enhancing income inequality, so as to more efficiently tax the wealthy, and extract from them kickbacks and bribes, while the growing ranks of the poor can be bribed to vote Democratic with handouts.

      From this perspective, the middle class are just a waste of skin. They are neither wealthy enough to efficiently tax, or provide your kids with no show jobs, nor poor enough to be grateful when you give them handouts.

      1. Boy, every accusation really is a confession with you people. Sure, the party that dies on the hill of estate taxes, tax cuts disproportionately for the rich, union-busting, etc., is the one that’s fighting the enhancement of income inequality!

        1. Very good point. A party that is tied to a wealth centric capitalism and opposed to a middle class centric capitalism, then uses wealth inequality to hid nativism. One of the easiest and truly capitalist methods of raising wages is to support unions in the private sector. Get the government out of the way and let the companies and their labor work out wages.

        2. The Republican party is not fighting income inequality and the last thing the current leaders of the Republican party want is limiting immigration. Of course neither does the Democratic party, the party you seem to think favors income equality.

          Who is doing the union busting lately? Amazon.
          Who wants to open up the H1B visas? Biden.
          Who is going to benefit from the infrastructure boondoggle and the coming Green New Deal? Connected Democrats.

          1. You do know Biden is opposed to Amazon in what you reference? Kind of a monkey wrench in your gears there…

            1. I look for him to crack down on Jeff any minute now. Drone strike his yacht even.

              The Democratic party has to pretend to still care about the unions, and where it doesn’t matter to the powers that be will back them, as in the teachers unions trying to avoid going back to work.

      2. It depends on your definition of the middle class. If you limit it to the lower end of the income spectrum then you have a point, but many people who are middle class, and who consider themselves middle class, have incomes of four or five hundred thousand or more. They have no personal political influence, are taxed heavily and tend to vote Democratic because they view themselves apart from the unwashed that Trump recruited.

        You are correct that the Democratic party is owned by the donor class, but they do count on the affluent middle class not defecting. They don’t mind so much if they go to the GOPe but the last thing they want is to lose them to populist side. As of now they are keeping them. If they go as batshit crazy as I expect them to and impose more massive taxes to pay off their client poor, and give out boondoggles for the rich and connected then they may lose them.

        I don’t know how much the affluent middle class cares about individual liberty. They have such a large stake in their prosperity that they will likely turn a blind eye to the stripping of rights in the name of preventing “domestic terrorism.” They will also go along with handouts to the “oppressed classes,” but they do have their limits. Maybe.

        1. “but many people who are middle class, and who consider themselves middle class, have incomes of four or five hundred thousand or more. ”

          That’s not middle class. If you have an income of $400,000 you are not middle class, no matter what you may think. You are rich. Top 2%.

          1. They are prosperous but still middle class. They have no personal political influence. I am making a distinction between them and the donor class. When you have Zuckerberg spending 500 million to tilt the last election that is “rich.” Rich means power and the affluent middle class doesn’t have any.

    2. “Isn’t this just subsidizing Big Tech?”
      -Yes

      “Does Big Tech really need government help to import cheap foreign labor to displace their higher-paid American counterparts?”
      -This is why they supported the Biden Campaign so heavily. Biden’s giving back. To make the monies by getting cheaper workers.

      “Is this a wise move at this time in the context of an economy damaged by the Covid-19 pandemic?”
      -No. But it’s the political payoff for Biden’s benefactors. They’re still keeping Trump off Facebook.

  8. ” Biden has ended a period when the US was more closed off to immigration than at any previous point in its history.”

    You mean besides the global pandemic, the first time in history that travel between the states themselves was so heavily restricted that mandatory quarantines were enforced?

  9. It’s funny to see conservatives pretend their opposition to this is about the American worker’s jobs. What other pro-American worker’s jobs have they and are they for? Bailouts for American industry? Protectionism from foreign competing products? What measures to combat off-shoring and punish the company’s that do that?

    Of course this is all pretense and pretext, it’s about hating those furriners coming here.

    1. Queen idiot, why pay minimum wage (probably soon to be $15/hr) to a citizen, when you could pay half to an illegal? Not to mention no employment taxes, SS taxes, UI, WC, benefits, etc?

      The people who will suffer the most are those legal citizens trying to provide for their families.

      Why do you think that minority unemployment was at record lows during the Trump administration? It is because the flood of illegals was stopped and small businesses HAD to hire US citizens.

      Now you idiots want to undo that by resuming the failed policies of everybody before Trump.

      1. Dunce Chocolate, the record low in black unemployment under Trump was a continuation of a steep decline starting (and which was greater) under the Obama administration, so it’s going to be hard to ascribe it to Trump’s unique immigration policies (and, as I said, the % of the foreign born as part of the workforce increased during Trump’s tenure).

        https://www.cnbc.com/2018/01/05/black-unemployment-rate-falls-to-record-low.html

        But, like I said, I’m doubtful that many people here that support Trump’s immigration record care much of a fig for the black unemployment rate. What other market restricting measures do and have you proposed in that vein?

        1. But, like I said, I’m doubtful that many people here that support Trump’s immigration record care much of a fig for the black unemployment rate.

          Actually we do, or at least we should care very much about it. In the coming realignment we need to recruit blacks and hispanics. Conservatives have seen through the Republican party and previous clients can see through the Democratic party. If the scales fall the ruling class is doomed.

          1. And a billionaire who resides literally in a country club shall lead them…

            1. Trump’s usefulness is at an end. He helped people see who was really running the country and what they would do to retain power, but he was never able to accrue power. And he made so many unforced errors that kept people who should have supported him from doing so.

              I don’t yet see anybody who can lead the populist coalition but whoever does emerge will likely be able to get and hold power. I might not like it even but it is coming.

      2. Queen idiot, why pay minimum wage (probably soon to be $15/hr) to a citizen, when you could pay half to an illegal? Not to mention no employment taxes, SS taxes, UI, WC, benefits, etc?

        The people who will suffer the most are those legal citizens trying to provide for their families.

        Setting aside your other errors (as identified by QA earlier), why are you talking about illegal immigrants when this is about legal immigrants?

  10. If we need immigrants to go to work in order to stop the Communist Chinese Virus, why did we shut down all the businesses?
    I think he is lying.

    1. The virus is communist? I didn’t know packages of protein and nucleic acids had such strong opinions on dialectical history, the surplus value theory, etc.,

      1. The Kung Flu was developed by, and is a product of, the CCP.

        1. A comment as stupid as it is bigoted.

          1. “Gain of function” gone awry followed by the coverup. He is absolutely correct.

            1. No one is ‘correct’ about where Coronovirus came from, it’s reckless to pretend otherwise.

              1. It’s “reckless” to criticize the Chicoms, especially if one depends on them for handouts and revenue. See Disney, Hollywood, professional sports, universities, Apple, Nike, Walmart, Target, etc.

                They did it and they should be held responsible for it.

                1. It’s reckless to state confidently that you know where this virus originated. You don’t.

  11. Re title 42:

    A recent batch of illegal immigrants had a positivity rate for COVID of over 10%. Well over the state positivity rate (1.8%). Under all the current laws, they’d need to self quarantine for 14 days…if they were US citizens. Title 42 can and should be used to send them back, due to the health risk they represent, and the pandemic spread risk.

    But apparently, that doesn’t need to apply if they’re illegal immigrants under Biden. And in fact, they’re getting in person teaching from California school teachers, paid by California tax dollars…while California’s own citizen children aren’t allowed to go to in person school.

    https://nypost.com/2021/03/31/san-diego-teachers-can-change-assignments-to-teach-migrants/

    1. You think we’re in the business of sending US citizens away from America if they are COVID positive?

      That was a thing Trump did with cruise ships, but not a current policy.

      1. Ironically, yes.

        If you’re a US citizen with COVID in Mexico, you’re stuck there.

        If you’re an illegal immigrant with COVID and you cross the border from Mexico, they let you in…..

        https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/news/2021/03/28/mexico-covid-travel-stuck-covid-test-positive-cdc-international-flights/6982341002/

        1. If you’re a US citizen with COVID in Mexico, you’re stuck there.

          No new goalposts. We’re not sending them back.

          And we’re not letting illegals in, unless you think detention is their end goal.

          1. “And we’re not letting illegals in, unless you think detention is their end goal.”

            They’re not BEING detained as an end goal! They get picked up, say “I’m Afraid” and are released until their court date…which they may not even show up to!

            1. In many cases released without a court date.

              1. Look at the deportation and detention rates.

                They rather contradict your ‘sekret open borders’ narrative.

                1. Detention of unaccompanied minors, adults are catch and release. Let’s see what those deportation numbers look like in six months when they have run through the existing (Trump) removal orders.

                  Do you actually think that the Biden administration doesn’t have a de facto open borders policy? If you had one and you couldn’t get it into law what would you do differently?

                2. Why don’t you present us with that data?

                  Here’s a better question. Under the Biden Administration’s current policy, if an illegal immigrant skips their court date, will they be hunted down and deported. Or is that “not a priority”?

  12. Why wouldn’t Democrats want to flood America with tens of millions more illiterate third worlders? They’ve seen how well it works for them electorally. That’s why they vote tooth and nail against any reasonable common sense restrictions on voting and immigration.

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