Remove J1 Exchange Visitors from June 22 proclamation on immigration #savej1

Remove J1 Exchange Visitors from June 22 proclamation on immigration #savej1

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Meghan RAMIREZ
Meghan RAMIREZ signed this petition

On June 22, President Trump issued a proclamation banning several J1 cultural Exchange Visitor categories dating back as far as the 1960s, including Work/Travel, Intern, Trainee, Au Pair, Teacher and Camp Counselor programs.

The proclamation is in place until Dec 31, 2020, with reviews by the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State and Labor, starting July 24 and every 60 days thereafter, with the option to extend into 2021.

Several organizations are expected to file a lawsuit challenging the Proclamation. This litigation will seek a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to prevent the Proclamation from taking effect on the basis that the President has exceeded his authority to override Congressional intent. 

These cultural exchange visitor programs are crucial to our national security, as per the Fulbright–Hays Act of 1961. By law, these programs do not displace U.S. workers. A 2017 report on the Work/Travel program by research firm EurekaFacts found that:

  • Cultural exchange or improving English was mentioned as the top reason for joining the program by over 90% of participants.
  • Close to 80% of participants became "more positive" or "much more positive" about the U.S. in general after their experience.
  • Almost 90.9% of all participants either agreed or strongly agreed that they have a better understanding of American culture after the SWT program.
  • 96.8% of employers reported experiencing a local shortage of seasonal workers, with more seasonal jobs available than workers to fill them.
  • 27.6% of employers reported that it was likely or very likely that they would not be able to stay open during the season without exchange visitors.
  • 44.8% of employers said that it was likely or very likely that they would have to reduce hours of operation without exchange visitors.
  • 28.7% of employers reported that it was likely or very likely that they would have to lay off permanent staff after the season without exchange visitors.
  • The total estimated contribution of SWT exchange visitor participants to the U.S. economy in 2016 was about $509 million, or $5,300 per participant.

Please sign this petition to tell the Secretaries of Homeland Security, State and Labor to #savej1 and remove cultural exchange visitor programs from this proclamation, before the U.S. suffers any further losses to our economy and national security.