When Donald Trump took office, the economy was booming after eight years of job growth and low unemployment numbers. All he had to do after President Obama left office was ride out the wave of Obama’s economic success without screwing things up too badly.
Then, COVID-19 happened, and Trump’s response to the virus did exactly what everyone hoped he wouldn’t: he screwed it up.
On Monday, Trump signed an executive order limiting the number of work visas that can be issued to foreign workers, citing fears of a further spread of COVID-19 despite the fact that Americans have it at a higher rate than most of the countries where people are applying. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) warned on Twitter that the effects of that order may be “chilling” to the economic comeback.
Trump’s executive order accomplishes two of his campaign goals: strikes out at brown immigrants looking to enter the country and touts an “America First” policy on available jobs, particularly with the unemployment rate at its highest since 1929. However, the jobs that will be left available for the average displaced American worker is not the kind of job those workers want, nor do they pay enough for the average American worker to live.
The restrictions were fairly extensive. According to The Washington Post:
‘The restrictions will prevent foreign workers from filling 525,000 jobs, according to the administration’s estimates. The measures will apply only to applicants seeking to come to the United States, not workers who already are on U.S. soil.’
Trump’s proclamation said that:
‘American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work. Under ordinary circumstances, properly administered temporary worker programs can provide benefits to the economy. But under the extraordinary circumstances of the economic contraction resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak, certain nonimmigrant visa programs authorizing such employment pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.’
Graham may have been trying to placate Trump with his “you built the economy” nonsense, but any research on the American economic growth since the recession of 2007 shows that the economic growth began under President Obama and the trajectory has been slightly less rapid under Trump.
Twitter was quick to remind Sen. Graham just who was responsible for the economic success of the U.S. prior to COVID-19. Read some of their comments below:
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