Administration officials are planning to stop spouses of thousands of immigrant workers from getting jobs in the United States, CNN is reporting.
The spouses of H-1B visa holders waiting for green cards have been permitted to work in the U.S. on H-4 department visas since 2015, according to the news network.
But now the Department of Homeland Security said it is planning to do away with that rule.
It said it was acting "in light of" the "Buy American, Hire American" executive order signed by President Donald Trump in April, CNN said. Under that order, the H-1B visa program for skilled workers will be reviewed in an effort to reform it.
Supporters of the program were critical of the decision, The Wall Street Journal reported.
"This announcement places into jeopardy thousands of hardworking, contributing individuals who have started their own businesses — and often have U.S. citizen children — who will needlessly be forced to revert to a status of inactivity," said Leon Fresco, an immigration attorney who worked for the Obama administration.
But others said the existing rule could have a negative impact on American workers., "There were no safeguards [in the spousal program] to make sure they weren't displacing or undercutting U.S. workers," said Jessica Vaughan, an immigration expert at the Center for Immigration Studies.