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Judge partially blocks Trump's visa ban

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Yahoo Finance's Emily McCormick breaks down what a judge's ruling means for workers in technology and their families.

Video Transcript


JULIE HYMAN: It's time for Word on the Street, where we check in with our panel to find out what stories they are watching. Emily, a judge has partially blocked Trump-- Trump administration from enforcing its ban on certain types of visas. Talk us through what's going on there.

EMILY MCCORMICK: Well, Julie, one ruling that had gotten buried, of course, by the news of this morning is this one with a federal judge in San Francisco blocking the Trump administration from enforcing a ban it at first announced in June about bringing in more foreign workers under H1B and other employment-based visas.

Now, that order had originally come amid historic job losses during the pandemic, but was met with opposition by a number of companies and trade organizations for targeting visas by tech and other workers as well as their families. And those H1B visas, of course, being the ones that foreign tech workers have used to find employment in the US.

Now, with this ruling, it's effective through the end of the year, but it just applies to workers for companies that were represented by the plaintiffs in the suit. So that includes the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, and TechNet. Now, these do include hundreds of thousands of companies, including tech employers like Amazon and Microsoft, so they will be able to, again, apply for those H1B visas and potentially bring on new high-skilled tech workers as this is effective.

Now, last thing I want to note here is that the issue is that this order does conflict with one that was reached earlier by a federal judge in Washington, so that means that this will likely move to an appeals court. But for now, this ruling, again, as I mentioned, is applying to these companies represented by this suit's plaintiffs. Julie and Adam.

RICK NEWMAN: Hey, Em, I have a question. This comes at the same time that President Trump wants to lower other types of immigration quotas, including for refugees. Have-- you know, tech companies and other businesses have not been shy about stating their displeasure about limits on this type of immigration. Have they had anything to say about this latest development?

EMILY MCCORMICK: Yeah, absolutely, Rick. And I think, you know, taking a look at this development, especially a net positive here for some of these tech companies like Amazon, Microsoft, even other ones like IBM, who have a tendency to apply for the greatest number of these H1B visas per year, we've already seen some of these caps on these types of visas, other immigration visas, during the course of the Trump administration. And this year specifically, having come in at lows compared to prior years.

I think, too, when we just think about what this means for the presidential election and bringing it back to that, we have already seen economists, market analysts, talking about the potential net positive here of the Biden administration's policies when it comes to tech immigration policies and this kind of work visas. So I think that's something to watch as well. Of course, that's not the only issue that's going to come into play here, but one thing when comparing the two different administration-- potential administrations policies on that front.

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