Trump Says He's Eyeing Citizenship Path in Worker Visa Program

Lester Mason
January 12, 2019

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the H1-B visa permits U.S. employers to hire temporary foreign workers with at least a bachelor's degree, or equivalent specialized work experience, to fill needs not met by the American workforce.

U.S. President Donald Trump said today he is planning changes to the H-1B programme that grants temporarily visas to highly educated immigrants who work in specialty occupations such as technology or medicine. "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.", Trump said in an early morning tweet.

In April 2017, President Donald Trump ordered the attorney general and the secretaries of state, labor, and Homeland Security to propose reforms to the H-1B visa system.

"Mr. president, what about American tech workers who are being displaced by H-1B guest workers and recent college grads who can't find jobs in STEM fields?" You will become the undisputed leader for 1 million citizens in making, Jyotsna Sharma tweeted.

The statement comes amid heated debates over the Trump administration's immigration policy and the president's plans to build a wall along the USA border with Mexico.

When asked about the tweet, USCIS spokesman Michael Bars pointed to the administration's proposed changes to the H-1B process, which are likely to become final later this year.

Trump may need the support of Congress, where the Democrats control the lower chamber, to make these changes.

What's changed already: The federal government has already made changes to its H-1B approval practices with significant results, part of a broader effort to bridal the legal immigration system.

In November, the Trump administration announced changes to the H1-B visa system to give preferences to applicants with advanced degrees.

Trump has also derided visas granted to family members of U.S. residents or citizens as "chain migration", and backed a Republican proposal in 2017 that would have slashed legal immigration in half. It further limits each immigrant-sending country to an annual maximum of seven per cent of all employment-based LPR admissions, which means only about 9800 of the more than 300,000 Indians waiting for green card get it each year, even as more and more are added to the waiting pool. A total of 85,000 H1-B visas are available each year under regulations imposed by the Congress. Of these, 20,000 are reserved for those graduating with advanced degrees from USA universities.

Immigration authorities have reportedly intensified their crackdown on H1-B visa fraud and some Indians as well as Indian companies have been caught in it. The authorities are also reported to be closely examining applicants from India and demanding more documentation. Rand said that under Trump, request for more evidence for H1-B applications has increased by 45% and the denial rate has jumped by 41%.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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