Mass. businesses say Trump’s ban on foreign-worker visas is making it difficult to fill jobs

Some fear the freeze will further harm an already reeling economy.

David L. Ryan/Globe Staff
From left: crew chief, Rolando Maldonado, Theo Hanlon, Sarah & Skate Rogers, and Connor Rinklin of Gentle Giant Moving, at work in Somerville. The company can't bring in most of the 100 or so H-2B workers it counts on every summer.

A national moving company based in Somerville can’t hire back the well-trained Eastern European workers it relies on every summer to supervise less-experienced crews. Restaurants on the Cape don’t have enough staffers on the payroll to open for regular business hours. Biotech executives in Cambridge worry that if they can’t easily recruit scientists from around the world, their companies’ ability to create life-saving medicines will be diminished.

These are some of the ways that President Trump’s freeze on new foreign work visas is rippling through the state’s economy, from businesses that count on workers from other countries for seasonal labor to technology companies that can’t find enough highly skilled job candidates in the United States.


Tens of thousands of workers affected by the ban held jobs in Massachusetts last year, and analysts said that barring this workforce could be detrimental to an economy that’s already reeling from the pandemic.

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