In my latest for the New Republic, I explain why the outrage you’re seeing regarding President Donald Trump’s blocking H-1B, H-2B, and J-1 visas through the end of this year is a bit … muted. Even Trump’s fiercest critics on the left can’t pretend that U.S. guest worker programs aren’t an ongoing scandal.
The Economic Policy Institute says Trump’s crackdown is too little, too late, and points out helpfully that the ban won’t affect visa holders applying for renewal from within the United States. There are other grounds for criticizing the executive order as well.
But don’t lets waste time defending the guest worker programs in question (and the H-2A visa program too, which Trump exempted). Granted, Trump condemns them even as he makes extensive use of H-2A workers at his resorts, and even as he remains at least nominally married to a woman who for five years held an H-1B visa for fashion modeling.
(Yes, Virginia, H-1B visas are available to fashion models “of prominence,” though Melania Knauss had no particular prominence when she got hers in October 1996. Trump’s first wife Ivana, in case you’re wondering, got out of Czechoslovakia via a sham marriage.)
Anyway, here’s my New Republic column.