• Thursday, Oct 21, 2021
  • Last Update : 11:52 pm

Trump touts plan to change visas for skilled foreign workers

  • Published at 06:44 pm January 12th, 2019
Trump-Sheriff-Bunny-Welsh
US President Donald Trump listens to Chester County, Pennsylvania Sheriff Bunny Welsh during a "roundtable discussion on border security and safe communities"with state, local, and community leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, US on January 11, 2019 Reuters

Democrats call the proposed wall expensive, ineffective and immoral

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he plans changes to the H-1B program that grants temporary visas for specialty occupations such as technology or medicine, but his administration said later he was referring to changes that were proposed last year.

"H1-B (sic) holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship," Trump said on Twitter. "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US."

It was unclear what Trump meant by a "potential path to citizenship" for H-1B visa holders, who already are eligible to be sponsored by employers for legal permanent residency, which would then make them eligible to become US citizens.

When asked about Trump's tweet, US Citizenship and Immigration Services spokesman Michael Bars provided a statement about a formal proposal in December for changes to the H-1B process, which are likely to become final later this year.

The proposal is designed to increase by 5,340, or 16%, the number of H-1B beneficiaries who hold advanced degrees from American universities. It would also streamline the application process with a new electronic registration system.

"These proposed regulatory changes would help ensure more of the best and brightest workers from around the world come to America under the H-1B program," Bars said.

Critics questioned why Trump tweeted about a month-old proposal at a time when he is battling with congressional Democrats over spending legislation to fund the federal government. Trump wants to include $5.6 billion for a wall along the border with Mexico, which he says will stem illegal immigration.

Democrats call the proposed wall expensive, ineffective and immoral. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the US government that is now in its 21st day.

Doug Rand, a former White House official in the Obama administration who worked on immigration issues, said the proposed changes to the lottery selection process were at best modest and at worst could cause chaos. Some immigration experts do not believe the new registration system will be ready in time for the next lottery, which occurs in the spring.

"The odds that a complicated new electronic processing system will be effectively launched by DHS in time for the next lottery on April 1 is low probability and has nothing to do with a potential path to citizenship," Rand said.

Throughout his presidency, Trump has sought to stem illegal immigration and to deport more immigrants living in the United States illegally. His administration has also worked to limit legal immigration, including through a proposal that would penalize aspiring immigrants who use public benefits.

Trump has also derided visas granted to family members of US residents or citizens as "chain migration," and backed a Republican proposal in 2017 that would have slashed legal immigration in half.

"The devil is in the details, said Todd Schulte, president of FWD.us, a nonprofit group which advocates for pro-immigration policies. He said his group, which was founded by tech executives including Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, remains "skeptical of vague pronouncements given the administration's track record."

US companies often use H-1B visas to hire graduate-level workers in specialized fields including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics. But the visa program has also drawn criticism for being used heavily by foreign outsourcing companies that squeeze out American firms.

52
Facebook 51
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail