Trump Administration Works to Shrink Legal Immigration

The public purpose of Trump’s immigration policy is to curb undocumented immigration. The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. has long advocated for immigration reform that addresses undocumented immigrants by giving them a legal path to citizenship—allowing hundreds of thousands of people to contribute their hands, minds, and spirit to the American experiment.

However, the current administration has long had a different purpose in mind: their hope is to curb immigration of any kind, legal or otherwise.

Cutting Down on Permanent Residents & Temporary Workers

Last month, the New York Times reported on several policies and trends enacted by the White House seemingly designed to discourage any type of immigration into the U.S. The most targeted group of foreigners? H-1B applicants, or the skilled foreign workers who apply to work for U.S. companies. Only 85,000 H-1B visas are granted by Congress every year, so applicants are chosen through a lottery.

Some of the applicants held up by the administration’s new policies include:

  • An expert biologist from India
  • An energy expert from Britain
  • An entrepreneur headed to Silicon Valley

Roughly 93% of H-1B applicants are approved following the lottery, but last year the number dropped by 10 percentage points. Why? Because the State Department has started making more “requests for evidence,” which can delay the application process by several months. The Times report found that requests for evidence from the State Department increased by 44% from 2016 to 2017.

These requests for evidence are costing American companies enormous amounts of money in legal fees, time, and processing fees. Remember that only American employers can request an H-1B visa—and denying the H-1B to a company in need could slow down projects that benefit the nation as a whole. Advocates for the H-1B visa (including this firm) know that the visa is key to maintaining America’s competitive edge as a technology and business leader.

Even advocates for the current administration, who want to cut down on visa abuses, are worried that the blanket approach to denying H-1Bs could hobble the American economy, not boost it. The H-1B visa policy is far from the only policy that could affect America’s economic leadership.

Other policies that trouble our immigration law firm include:

  • Reversal of a policy allowing permanent residents to bypass interviews if sponsored by an employer
  • Reversal of Obama-era policy allowing entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. for 5 years
  • Reversal of 2015 policy that allowed spouses of H-1B holders to get work permits
  • Plans to reverse a policy allowing foreign students to work temporarily after graduation
  • Added levels of vetting that slows down the path to citizenship for enlisted immigrants

Immigration lawyers all over the nation fear that we’re turning away green card holders who have skills and resources that our armed forces need—all in the name of “protecting American interests.” The president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Anastasia Tonello, says “I call this the real wall. The wall is being built.”