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Attorney General of Virginia

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Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of the Attorney General

Mark Herring
Attorney General

202 North Ninth Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 

For media inquiries only, contact:  
Charlotte Gomer, Press Secretary
Phone: (804)786-1022 
Mobile: (804) 512-2552
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ATTORNEY GENERAL HERRING CHALLENGES TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S UNLAWFUL EFFORT TO BAR IMMIGRANTS AND FOREIGN WORKERS

~ Herring joins coalition of attorneys general in filing an amicus brief seeking to prevent enforcement of executive orders restricting legal immigration and temporary work visas ~

RICHMOND – Attorney General Mark R. Herring has joined a coalition of 23 attorneys general in fighting against the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to curtail legal immigration and temporary work visa programs. In an amicus brief supporting the plaintiffs in Gomez, et al. v. Trump, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues call for an injunction against the enforcement of two executive orders that would suspend large swathes of the nation’s legal immigration system and several of its most important non-immigrant work visa programs. The coalition argues that the participation of immigrants and other foreign-born employees in the workforce is critical to economic development, and that the order will prolong the separation of families.

 

“Immigrants and foreign-born employees play an integral role in Virginia’s communities and add billions to our economy every year,” said Attorney General Herring. “These executive orders are just another attempt by the Trump Administration to restrict legal immigrants from coming to our country – that’s just plain un-American. I’m proud to join with my colleagues to defend legal immigrants and this country’s incredibly important work visa programs.”

 

On April 22, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order banning from entry most legal immigrants being sponsored by U.S. citizens or legal permanent resident family members, by their employers, or who had won the diversity visa lottery. The April order was set to expire in 60 days but was renewed on June 22. The June order also added new bans on non-immigrant workers arriving on H-1B, H-2B, J, and L visas. Absent an injunction, the June order will be in effect until December 31, 2020, and may be further extended. If allowed to remain in effect, these orders will bar more than 500,000 people from entering the United States this year and prevent approximately 20,000 employers from bringing foreign employees into the United States.

 

In the brief, Attorney General Herring and his colleagues describe the harms the executive orders could have on immigrant workers, their families, and the United States economy. By preventing thousands of immigrants and other foreign-born workers from participating in the workforce, the order deprives states of valuable economic contributions. Immigrants start businesses, fill important jobs in sectors facing labor shortages, and pay millions of dollars in taxes each year. The ban will also harm many important industries, including science, technology, and medicine, as these fields often rely on foreign-born workers with specialized technical knowledge and skills. The economic harm caused by these bans will undermine states’ ability to fully recover from the damage inflicted by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Finally, the coalition argues that the executive order will harm amici states’ residents and communities by withholding visas from hundreds of thousands of parents, grandparents, children, and siblings seeking to reunite with their relatives in the United States.

 

Joining Attorney General Herring in filing today’s amicus brief are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia.

 

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