No more H-1B?
A letter sent by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, exposes the agency's new measures to hinder the hiring of highly qualified professional immigrants.
Remember that famous Buy American and Hire American executive order? Well, that's another promise that the Trump Administration intends to fatefully fulfill.
According to Forbes, a letter sent by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) to the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley, on April 4, “laid out a series of measures to make it far more difficult for the most sought-after employees in the world - individuals with degrees in science and engineering fields – to work in the United States".
According to the document, the agency's new initiatives "intend to protect the economic interests of American workers and prevent fraud and abuse of the immigration system," the H-1B program being one of its main focuses.
This visa format (contemplated under the Immigration and Nationality Act), allows US employers to hire foreign workers in "special positions," according to the USCIS website, and between 2010 and 2016, both the East Coast and the state of Texas were the territory with the most approved visas (especially in terms of transportation specialists), according to a study by the Pew Research Center.
But from the beginning of his administration, President Donald Trump instructed his advisors to "evaluate” the conditions of these visas, thus leading to his anti-immigration crusade from the heart of the immigration system.
However, the letter sent by USCIS to the Senate shows that the new measures have already taken effect.
USCIS Director Francis Cissna "proudly notes USCIS has already implemented a policy that has caused many people working years in the United States to lose their jobs and be forced to leave the country after applications to extend their H-1B status were denied," Forbes continues.
Likewise, Cissna argues that through the Executive Order "tens of thousands of women, spouses of H-1B visa holders, have been prohibited from working in the United States."
However, the USCIS argument has its holes.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the US labor market is not in a position to deny specialized foreign labor, because "if every unemployed person in the Midwest was placed into an open job, there would still be more than 180,000 unfilled positions, according to the most recent Labor Department data."
Finally, and according to Forbes, the new USCIS measures (which also include the closing of “a viable option” for foreign entrepreneurs) will be added to the rest of the Trump administration's anti-immigration agenda (which includes the attempted elimination of Optional Practical Training for international students) in a firm tendency to abolish the immigrant professional flow in the country.