How Will Trump Presidency Impact High-Skilled Immigration?

When Donald Trump became 45th President of the United States, people were concerned about many issues. One of the issues that propelled his victory during the Republican nomination and ultimate victory as President was immigration. There were many sides discussed on immigration debate and Trump’s standpoint immigration has changed over time. In President Trump’s 10 Point Plan, 9 were focused on the reducing and preventing entry of illegal immigration. So the question is about his stand on legal immigration, especially high-skilled workers.

Trump’s 10th and final point on immigration plan emphasized that he only the best interests of America and its workers is on top of his priorities while preserving levels of immigration within historic norms. This statement is a clear indication that there will be no forthcoming increase in the H-1B visa numbers or any more expectations of employment-based green card availability.

Trump indicated clearly that former President Obama’s executive actions on immigration issues are no longer applicable. Many people questioned whether H-4 EAD is included and how far is its impact on the forth-coming compelling circumstances EAD rule. They do not expect elimination either of these programs by President Trump as the programs were regulatory actions from Department of Homeland Security implementation. They were not created as through an Executive Order. It is expected that termination of DACA is the main focus.

DACA means Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that is an American immigration policy started by the Obama administration in June 2012. It allows a number of undocumented immigrants who were still minors while entering the U.S. They were given renewable period of two-years as action deferred for working permit eligibility and action deferred from deportation.

This question needs an answer. Will there be more restrictions on legal immigration without any increase in immigration levels, particularly referring to the H-1B visa category? Some reforms are needed in this area considering the many stories that big American companies are replacing their US workers with H-1B holders from several outsourcing firms. However, this may not end the H-1B based on the light of business background of Trump. Being a businessman, he has been using workers holding H-1B and H-2B visas in his companies. Previously, he talked against the J-1 visa program. This study-based exchange visitor programs allows visitors to work while studying for a degree. President Trump suggested that it be replaced with resume bank for inner-city youth.

With the House and Senate controlled by Republicans, it is possible to see smaller reforms that are targeted in formalizing an immigration system that is legal and more feasible for employers and its purpose is advantageous to the American economy.  Previously, the President Trump has invited graduating international students especially in STEM fields to stay. There will be no increase in the levels of immigration by exempting STEM graduates of U.S. schools from the green card quota.

Trump is facing lots of issues to resolve during his first 100 days in office. He will have to return to the drawing board involving reforms on health care, trade agreements and financial reform. Immigration is tops on the list but the issue on legal immigration is still top priority to be addressed.

Mike Lee – Social Media Assistant

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