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Trump indicated clearly that former President Obama’s executive actions on immigration issues are no longer applicable.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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With Trump’s Deportation Plan, Is Immigration Reform Dead?

President-elect Donald Trump has promised during his campaign to build a “big beautiful wall” along the U.S. border with Mexico and deport millions of the nation’s immigrants. Now that he is about to take his seat in the White House, what will happen to undocumented people residing illegally in the U.S.?

Trump’s proposal includes tripling Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel, removing the estimated 690,000 undocumented residents who have committed crimes, and expelling immigrants overstaying their visas.

According to an analysis by the Washington Post, the total number of deportations is somewhere between 5 million and 6.5 million of the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The cost of these policies, along with the construction of the proposed border wall, will be between $51.2 billion and $66.9 billion.

The insane numbers that are attached to Trump’s immigration proposal has been criticized by many economists and political analysts. However, Trump still has not changed his mind.

His proposed immigration-related tasks also include plans to “immediately terminate President Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties” and to ensure that “anyone who enters the U.S. illegally is subject to deportation,” according to his campaign website.

By stating “Obama’s two illegal executive amnesties,” Trump is likely referring to the outgoing president’s 2012 and 2014 executive actions on immigration, which granted temporary deportation stays to some immigrants. Republican governors argued the proposals were not approved by Congress and were therefore not legal.

Executive actions, unlike executive orders, are varied and more directed toward enforcement rather than legislation, but both can be discarded by an incoming president, according to Georgetown University Government Affairs Institute (GAI) Senior Fellow Susan Sullivan.

“When there’s a change in party control at the White House, it’s become de rigeur for the incoming president to dispense with a few Executive Orders issued by his predecessor at the first possible opportunity,” Sullivan wrote in a GAI post comparing executive orders and actions.

This means that President Obama’s efforts to create immigration reforms may soon be put to waste by Trump’s administration. Two of his immigration policies have already been blocked by the Supreme Court: the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA).

In a 4-4 split ruling, the Supreme Court upheld earlier this year the decision to strike down the DACA expansion and DAPA. Due to this blockage, more than 5 million people who would have been eligible for protection are now left vulnerable to deportation.

DACA, a 2012 action delaying deportation for people brought to the U.S. before June 2007 and prior to their 16th birthdays, still stands. Its expansion, initiated in 2014, have allowed people brought to the U.S. when they were younger than 16 and have only been residing in the country since the start of 2010 to stay and work for another three years in the country. Meanwhile, DAPA, also enacted in 2014, would have delayed deportation for undocumented parents of American citizens.

So, in terms of slashing Obama Administration’s immigration reform, only the original version of DACA is left, for which 1.2 million people qualify.

Nghi Tran – CFO of Greenhandshake

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Trump’s Presidency May Change the Way Silicon Valley Works

During the presidential campaign, all Silicon Valley leaders uniformly rejected Donald Trump. Now they’re struggling to come to terms with what his presidency will mean for their industry.

Under the Obama Administration, Silicon Valley became very friendly with Washington and the relationship went both ways. After the end of his term, President Obama would likely stay linked to tech, with much of the work of his charitable presidential foundation tied to the progress of innovations in Silicon Valley.

On the contrary, the reality of a Trump presidency would likely be vastly different for the tech industry. Trump stated that he plans to punish companies that offshore production by placing tariffs on their imports back to the US. Never mind the fact that Trump’s own companies manufacture thousands of items overseas.

“We’re going to get Apple to build their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” he promised at Liberty University as early as January, a commitment he repeated at other events.

The problem is that, at least in Apple’s case, forcing adherence to this policy would be both logistically impossible and economically disastrous. Forcing Apple to produce the iPhone in the US would make the device too expensive that it would become less competitive with foreign competitors like Samsung.

Apple would have to look for other places to cut down on expenses—including scaling back corporate operations or closing retail locations, which already employ thousands of Americans—jobs at home Trump purportedly hopes to save.

But Trump’s trade policies go beyond the case of Apple. Trump has also criticized both China and Mexico, proposing a blanket 45 percent tax on Chinese imports and 35 percent tax on Mexican imports if the countries do not reform their policies affecting US trade.

“I think the tech industry is going to have to react to this collectively,” says Rob Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation. “The question is: are they capable of acting collectively or are they individual firms that just do what’s best for them?”

In addition to imports and offshore outsourcing, much of the work in the Silicon Valley relies upon immigrants. Trump has already expressed his plans to implement stricter laws on immigration so this might be another area of concern for the tech industry.

According to the National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of start-ups in the U.S. that are valued at $1 billion or more—have at least one immigrant founder. The top job at some of tech’s most established companies have immigrants helming the ship, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Foreigners have also filled the middle ranks of many tech companies as well, especially in technical jobs.

Over the past three years, the tech industry has vocally committed itself to the work of diversity. This commitment to diversity may be even more challenging in the era of Trump. His campaign showed an unprecedented willingness to insult pretty much every minority group in the US. This is why tech CEOs is reinforcing their commitment to diversity.

The only tech VIP who has explicitly aligned himself with the new Trump administration is billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who controversially backed Trump’s candidacy and will reportedly be part of the presidential transition team.

Nghi Tran – CFO of Greenhandshake

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Questions of xenophobia cause disquiet among international students

racism-and-xenophobiaIncreasing xenophobia in the United States is being cited as one of the factors that have given Donald Trump a victory that was unexpected and proved most pollsters wrong. His rant against foreigners has heightened concerns among foreigner’s especially international students, many of whom come from China. Most of these students have availed of expensive loans and have hoped that the provisions of being able to work in the US after their studies would enable them to clear the loans that they have taken. These students are now hoping that the strident statements made by the President elect will only be electoral rhetoric and will not really translate to ground reality in the long run. Based on my experience of my experience as an international student here is my reading of how things could pan out.

China’s rise as a global economic power has always been a cause of concern in America, and many citizens feel that this has come about at the cost of American jobs. Donald Trump has been one of those hardliners who not only believes that China has been dumping cheap goods in the country that has not only damaged to the economy but also cost job losses and hardship for the working class in the country. ON the campaign trail, he has only several occasions, threatened to impose protectionist tariffs on Chinese goods as a measure to counter such imports. Another charge has been that the Yuan, the official currency of China, has been artificially propped up by the government to ensure that their goods remain competitive. AS a reaction the Chinese authorities have already begun to quietly devalue its currency to cushion any possible action by the Americans. This devaluation could have a potential impact on the Chinese students as their loans will now work out to be more expensive.

The immediate impact of the president elects policies will certainly affect immigrants, especially the illegal ones who will be a target of action. However the impact will not be as visible or significant  for international students who are anyways , unlike in other English speaking countries like Australia and New Zealand, not allowed to work off campus and is not real a threat to American jobs. On the contrary, international students contribute massively to not only the national economy but also to the local economies.

Nevertheless, international students have a genuine reason to be concerned about tone and tenor of Trump’s threats that is not new or recent-his protectionist beliefs and intent has been aired by him for over a year in various forums and there is nothing here that says that this is only rhetoric. Polarizing posters have appeared on college campuses, which together with rallies and instances of conflict among groups with divergent views have only served to heighten the concern and anxiety among these students. The next few months will be critical and every move and statement of the president elect will be closely watched for any indication on how all this gets translated on the ground.

Sue J Liu –

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