There has been so much confusion and chaos in the lives of many internationals living in US either on Green card or any other visa status with the recent executive order signed by President Trump on temporary ban on internationals from certain countries and certain background. This executive order signed matched word to word on the set of leaked Executive orders that were posted on Vox website on Jan 25th. Many news agencies picked up on these memos, especially the one that says “Executive Order on Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs“ and started to write speculating that new Executive orders are on the way to limit Employment Based Immigration. There are some others speculations based on the bills introduced to tighten H1B and L1 programs. We will try to summarize whats floating around all over news websites and blogs.
DisclaimerTo clarify, as of today ( Jan 31st, 2017), nothing has been signed by President Trump. This leaked memo is NOT officially confirmed and NOT Signed. It is pure speculation at this point and written to help our readers be informed on whats happening.
Summary of H1B, L1, STEM OPT, H4 EAD related Changes in Leaked Trump’s Executive Orders :
- Context : The context of the Executive Order draft is mentioned that the main driver for illegal immigration in US is due to the Jobs and benefits. It claims that if the jobs attractiveness is eliminated it will reduce illegal immigration and visa overstays.
- What’s the Goal : The goal of the Executive order is to design immigration policies that are in US national interest and have foreign worker visa programs that protect the civil rights of american workers & lawful residents and prioritizes them. The foreign visas that are mentioned refer to B1, E2, H1B, H2A, J1, L1
- Employment Based Work Visa Programs :
- It says generic statements like “within 90 days all the foreign work visa program must be examined to see, if they are in US national interest or not and should be revoked/cancelled, if not. Also, propose/ issue a notice for comments to new rule as needed”
- It says that existing parole policies to be terminated that are used to circumvent the statutory immigration policy to enter US. It does not explicitly talk about what parole.
- It says that new notice and comment for regulation should be done by working with DOL and Secretary to restore the integrity of current employment based non-immigrant worker visa programs to protect US and Foreign workers affected
- Also, the secretary of labor shall to do investigation on how much US workers are hurt by Foreign workers( H1B, L1 and B1) on work visa programs either directly or indirectly and submit such detail report in 18 months to president. Also, an interim report in 9 months on the same
- H1B Visa Program : Regarding H1Bs, it says very generic on better ways to allocate them and the beneficiaries of H1B are best and brightest. Does not talk about wage increase or anything here like changes to lottery system, etc.
- L1 Visa Program : stresses that within 180 days more site visits need to be done and talk about expanding the site visits program for other work visas as well.
- Better Immigration Policies Committee: It also recommends that within 1 year a committee is setup to review overall US immigration policies and see, if they are impacting US workers, society, etc and make sure they are in national interest and recommend changes to be done.
- STEM OPT , CPT Programs : There are no specifics except notes that says to review and propose reform to practical training programs so ensure that it will help US students and make sure they are in compliance. No talk on cancellation or removal completely.
- B1 Business Visa : To propose notice and comment a regulation to clarify what is not permissible on business visa and enforce no work is done in such visas either skilled or unskilled work. (This is to address abuse of B1 visa.)
- H2-A , E-Verify, J1 Summer work : within 90 days submit options for proper use of H2A visa and also submit options to encourage more employers to be in E-Verify. Also propose notice to reform J-1 summer work to protect US workers.
- Immigrant Visas :Report to congress on when immigrant visas will be immediately available and propose notice and regulation to reduce inefficiencies on how these visas are allocated.
- E2 Investor visa : Propose Notice to reform E2 Investor visa so that it conforms to immigration laws.
- Reports for Transparency : To be transparent Secretary of Homeland Security should publish report every 6 months and yearly on details such as Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) like new EADs issues and category of EAD. Also, reports like total foreign born persons who are authorized to work in US, non-immigrant status visa holders, etc. every 6 months. Similarly some other reports by US Census Bureau, etc.
- Raising minimum wage to 130,000 USD : This is not mentioned in the leaked executive order draft, it is from another H1B Bill introduced in House and totally interpreted wrongly. Read more details on the summary of this H1B 130K bills, Confusion on Facts . We don’t even know if the above will be passed as it is…so too much speculation.
- H4 EAD : Also, there is no specific reference for the H4 visa holders EAD. There is a fear that it will be cancelled, etc. We have to wait and see, nothing can be done overnight by signing an executive order.
Whats the take away ? What we do not know is that, if the same Executive order draft text will appear or even the Executive order will be passed or changed. Whatever you see all over is pure speculation by news agencies. Also, most of the text is really vague and does not have any specifics on how some of these aspects will work. We will have to wait on the specifics…Also, President Trump’s power is limited with Executive Order option. He cannot just randomly cancel any rule that was legally formulated with rule making process and comment period, etc.
What are your thoughts ? Any other things that I have missed to speculate 😉
- VOX – Draft of 4 Leaked Memos by Trump
- Huffingtonpost – Trump to Order Crackdown on Visas
- CNN – Work visas may be Next on Trump Agenda
- Economic Times – Executive order to clampdown visas
Actual Leaked Executive Order Draft that was published by VOX :