President Trump has made it increasingly difficult to obtain American citizenship even for individuals who have legally immigrated to the United States. In April 2017, Trump created a Buy American and Hire American Executive Order that was intended to limit the amount of foreign specialists and professionals from taking American’s jobs and opportunities.
Such a visa – an H-1B – is specifically for skilled foreign workers, like computer engineers and other professionals (medicine, law, etc.) On August 28, 2018, the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it would suspend the processing until approximately February 2019 (originally until September 2018). Thus, in line with the Executive Order, it has become increasingly hard to acquire and renew H-1B visas.
Additionally, the Trump Administration has made it harder for legal immigrants to become citizens or get green cards if they have ever used public welfare programs – and this covers not only a broad spectrum of programs but individuals. Essentially, if any foreigner provided labor or work at the expense of the US Government, they are not deemed worthy of citizenship or a green card because they still contribute to the “theft of American prosperity.”
In delaying and denying work visas, due to lack of information or a cap on the number of issued H-1B visas is harming local companies and businesses. Employees who remain must pick up the slack in the short-term, but the long-term effects could prove dire. Corporate executives worry that talented engineers and programmers will go to Canadian corporations instead since they are more willing to accept foreigners. This would lead to a prolonged reduction in immigration that could then hinder economic growth overtime as baby boomers retire and leave a gap in the job market. Aside from Administrative claims, there is no research that cutting immigration is actually good for the economy.
- The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law: a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to defend and reform – as necessary – the US systems of democracy and justice, focusing on upholding the Constitution and US laws while maintaining national security.
- Stay up to date with the National Immigration Forum who advocates for the value of immigrants and immigration to the US and promotes responsible immigration policies and addresses those that hinder the success of immigrants.
- The National Immigration Law Center: an organization that exclusively dedicates itself to defending and furthering the rights of low income immigrants and strives to educate decision makers on the impacts and effects of their policies on this overlooked part of the population.
This Brief was authored by Kathryn Baron. For inquiries, suggestions or comments email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo by John Bakator