The Trump administration extended a freeze on green cards and put a hold on a variety of temporary work visas this week, blocking them until at least January. Included in the hold are J-1 visas, temporary work permits that bring hundreds of seasonal employees to the Roaring Fork Valley every year.
Aspen, Snowmass, and Glenwood Springs combined to host 893 J-1 visa holders last year. The permits are described as a means of “cultural exchange” and are commonly used in the local tourism industry to employ young foreigners in restaurants and shops.
The Aspen Skiing Company employs “several hundred” people using J-1 visas each year, according to the Aspen Daily News.
The order from President Trump also puts a hold on H1-B visas, often used by U.S. technology companies. The administration described the measure as a way to free up jobs for Americans during times of high unemployment.