Trump’s Immigration Policy
July 10, 2018
President Trump promised to change America’s immigration policies when he was campaigning for office, and he is doing just that. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently edited the words “nation of immigrants” out of its mission statement, making it clear in which direction the agency is headed.
In April, USCIS Director Francis Cissna sent a letter to Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that details new measures the agency will use to make the application process for H-1B visas more difficult. The move is the newest part of a strategy to prevent workers from obtaining a non-immigrant employment visa for a temporary job and then staying on and becoming U.S. citizens.
H-1B Visa Specifics
The H-1B visa is a special program designed to allow highly specialized and sought-after workers to enter the United States for employment purposes.
In April of 2017, Trump issued an executive order called “Buy American and Hire American,” which he touted as protecting American jobs. However, it is a fact that in many technical fields, foreign-born workers are not preventing U.S. workers from finding jobs. According to the Wall Street Journal, using the most current data from the Labor Department, all the unemployed people in the Midwest could be placed into open job positions, and there would still be 180,000 positions left unfilled.
After authoring the Executive Order, Trump officials are now using it to justify changes to U.S. immigration policy including the H-1B visa program. New USCIS policies have already denied H-1B extensions to workers, many of whom had been living and working in the U.S. for years. Loss of the visa caused them to lose their jobs and forced them out of the country, something Cissna noted proudly in his letter to Senator Grassley.
The new measures would make it more difficult for a highly-skilled individual to qualify for an H-1B visa by revising the definition of specialty occupation and requiring employers to pay certain wages to recipients of the visa. Additionally, spouses of H1-B visa holders – primarily women from India – would not be eligible to work. This is a reversal of a final rule from 2015 that granted H-1B spouses employment authorization.
Another proposed measure outlined in the letter would remove the International Entrepreneur Rule, thereby closing off options for foreign-born entrepreneurs.
An Anti-Immigrant Administration
The Trump administration has sought to define itself through its anti-immigrant policies, including the infamous and much contested travel ban on individuals from selected countries, and restricting admissions of refugees to historically low levels. The future of the Dreamers (people brought to the country as children by their parents) has been in limbo ever since Trump came into office.
The new H-1B measures will surely be contested in court by those whose futures it will affect. However, given the history of the courts deferring to regulatory agencies, it cannot be said if litigation will be successful.
Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC Provide Experienced Counsel in All Types of Immigration Cases
If you or someone you love needs the assistance of a Philadelphia immigration lawyer, contact the Law Offices of MC Law Group, LLC, P.C. to speak to one of our skilled attorneys. We have extensive experience dealing with the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, and all the immigration courts. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation at 215-496-0690 or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia we assist clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.