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BANGKOK 19 January 2019 07:14
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Trump touts plan to change visas for skilled foreign workers

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Trump touts plan to change visas for skilled foreign workers

By Yeganeh Torbati and Mica Rosenberg

 

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FILE PHOTO: A woman leaves the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in New York, August 15, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford/File Photo

 

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he plans changes to the H-1B programme 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 U.S."

 

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 U.S. citizens.

 

When asked about Trump's tweet, U.S. 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 percent, 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 programme," 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 U.S. 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 penalise aspiring immigrants who use public benefits.

 

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.

 

"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 "sceptical of vague pronouncements given the administration's track record."

 

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

 

 
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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-01-12

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Won’t happen till Donald learns to work with others lol and at his age and temperament it’s extremely doubtful lol

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I'm guessing he will allow people with advanced degrees from US universities (ie people on J visas) to convert directly to H-1B visas. Currently is forbidden as the logic goes how can you be an expert in the field if you have just left college and not worked? Currently the law is such students have to leave the country and reapply to come back when they get some experience.

 

If so it will be a positive step.

Edited by Pedrogaz
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4 hours ago, attrayant said:
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  12 hours ago, rooster59 said:

President Donald Trump said [...]

 

All too often seems to be followed by:

 

  7 hours ago, rooster59 said:

It was unclear what Trump meant [...

 

 

What he means is that the elegant scam that displaces American kids in university by replacing them with high paying international students who then go on to take their high paying jobs will continue unabated.

Edited by lannarebirth
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5 hours ago, Pedrogaz said:

I'm guessing he will allow people with advanced degrees from US universities (ie people on J visas) to convert directly to H-1B visas. Currently is forbidden as the logic goes how can you be an expert in the field if you have just left college and not worked? Currently the law is such students have to leave the country and reapply to come back when they get some experience.

 

If so it will be a positive step.

 

Positive for university executive salaries. Positive for corporation's bottom lines. Positive for the foreigner who displaced an American. Who else is it positive for?

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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.

 

Any discussion of legal immigration is refreshing. The constant banter about the wall, and illegal immigration, is completely nonsensical, without a discussion of reforming the legal immigration system. The quotas are outdated, and need to be revised and expanded. The US is missing out on the best and the brightest from around the world, and runs a serious risk of becoming a nation of dishwashers, landscapers, and fruit pickers. 

 

However, I fear as usual, that this policy initiative is too little. As is usually the case with Trump and his administration, it is probably not a policy that is well thought out, and well planned. However, as I said, any discussion of immigration reform is desperately needed, and a good thing. 

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11 hours ago, Scott said:

Chain migration gets a bad wrap because it allows the bringing of immediate family as not limited by numbers

perhaps it wouldn't if the congress would have enough competence to put a realistic limit on how many are allowed in total and actually have enough common

sense to get rid of the vacuous stupidity of the visa lottery system. another gem of stupidity from Schumer.

the vetting is obviously faulty and too generous on the student visa as well. Then where is the interior enforcement for the overstays?

 

https://cis.org/Report/Analyzing-New-Visa-Overstay-Report

 

add to this the massive amount of illegal entries and the ridiculous asylum loopholes that congress refuses to fix, there is a clear agenda from 

members of congress and they have failed to do their job for decades. 

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2 minutes ago, mcambl61 said:

perhaps it wouldn't if the congress would have enough competence to put a realistic limit on how many are allowed in total and actually have enough common

sense to get rid of the vacuous stupidity of the visa lottery system. another gem of stupidity from Schumer.

the vetting is obviously faulty and too generous on the student visa as well. Then where is the interior enforcement for the overstays?

 

https://cis.org/Report/Analyzing-New-Visa-Overstay-Report

 

add to this the massive amount of illegal entries and the ridiculous asylum loopholes that congress refuses to fix, there is a clear agenda from 

members of congress and they have failed to do their job for decades. 

And as a result the USA is in grave peril?

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