Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Trump cracking down on legal immigration, too

Trump's Assault on Legal High-Skilled Immigration - Reason.com - Stuart Anderson:

October 30, 2017 - "Almost since day one, restrictionists in President Donald Trump's inner circle targeted not just undocumented low-skilled workers but also legal high-skilled ones.... The White House's 'Buy American and Hire American' executive order, drafted largely by restrictionist Trump aide Stephen Miller within months of Trump assuming office, ordered the Department of Homeland Security and other federal agencies to 'rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad' with an eye toward creating 'higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States.' And the agencies aren't wasting any time....  Here are just a few of the things they've done:
  • The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) just last week instructed its adjudicators to no longer 'defer to prior determinations,' approvals and findings of facts for the renewal of H-1Bs and other high-skilled visas. This means that when high-tech foreigners try to extend their H-1B after three years, the government having previously approved their applications — involving the same set of facts — means nothing. For employers, it will create uncertainty and additional paperwork burden.
  • USCIS is also issuing 'exponentially more' of what are called 'requests for evidence' when an employer first petitions for an H-1B visa, according to BNA Bloomberg. This means that employers must submit additional evidence regarding salaries and job duties.... 
  • USCIS adjudicators are also far more suspicious of H-1B petitions where employers offer the lower end of the prevailing wage spectrum, for example when hiring fresh graduates with less job experience.... 
  • The Trump administration is delaying whether to defend a regulation that allows certain spouses of H-1B visa holders to work. Tens of thousands of qualified spouses are currently locked out of the job market because their visas bar them from working.
"But what's sending fear and trembling in the high-tech community is an expected rule change that will eliminate the STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) program that the Bush administration first implemented.... This program allows about 45,000 new foreign STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) students annually to work in the country after graduation not just one year, as is the case with non-STEM students, but three. This adds an important 'practical' aspect to their education and gives them much-needed time to land jobs and stay in America via an H-1B....

"In the absence of STEM OPT, American companies that want to hang on to these students will hire them and place them outside the United States. 'Without an H-1B program supported by the current STEM OPT option, Cummins and other employers will be forced to move our employees and their jobs outside the U.S.,' said Lorrie Meyer, executive director for global talent management at Indiana-based manufacturer Cummins Inc.... That is the opposite, of course, of the goal of 'America First.'"

Read more: http://reason.com/archives/2017/10/30/trumps-assault-on-legal-high-skilled-imm?utm_medium=email
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