Trump cracking down on skilled immigrants

Carpenter marking a measurement on a wooden plank.

A new report shows that US President Donald Trump is making it harder for skilled immigrants to move to the United States.

Data obtained by Reuters shows that the US government has issued more than 85,000 visa challenges to H-1B visa applicants so far this year. This is 45 per cent more than had been issued during the same period last year. The challenges can slow down the issuance of the visas by months, according to Reuters.

“They’re doing anything they can to delay the processing and adjudications and, in their mind, close any perceived loopholes [for skilled immigrants],” immigration attorney Anthony Pawelski told Reuters.

The Trump administration had previously hinted that they believe the H-1B visa system was open to abuse. In April, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeland security said: “The H-1B visa programme should help US companies recruit highly skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country. Yet too many Americans who are qualified, willing and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged. Protecting American workers by combatting fraud in our employment-based immigration programme is a priority.”

The H-1B visas allows skilled immigrants to fill highly skilled positions in healthcare, technology, and education for three years at a time. The report said that Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, and Google were among the top users of the program.

Article published 25th September 2017