Trump will revamp immigration system and H1B visa policy | Bad for India?

Trump revamp immigration system H1B visa policy

WASHINGTON: A Trump administration will execute a 10-point plan to “restore the integrity” of the US immigration system, including suspension of visas from certain countries and reforming the legal immigration system, the president-elect’s transition team said on Friday.

The Trump Transition has also talked about reforming the legal immigration system, which among other things includes the much sought after H-1B visas.

“Reform legal immigration to serve the best interests of America and its workers,” it said, without giving any further details.
The policy, among other things, also calls to ensure that other countries take their people back when US deports them.

This year India has taken back at least three charter planes full of people who came to the US illegally or were asked to be deported.

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Among other policies include completing the biometric entry-exit visa tracking system and turning off the jobs and benefits magnet.

While there is no mention of H-1B visas, a position paper issued by the Trump Campaign during the primaries was critical of this system and had called for increasing the minimum wage of H-1B visas to $100,000.

This was described as a deal killer by immigration experts and Indian companies.

“We graduate two times more Americans with STEM degrees each year than find STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs, yet as much as two-thirds of entry-level hiring for IT jobs is accomplished through the H-1B programme,” said the position paper.

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More than half of H-1B visas are issued for the programme’s lowest allowable wage level, and more than 80 per cent for its bottom two, the position paper had rued.

“Raising the prevailing wage paid to H-1Bs will force companies to give these coveted entry level jobs to the existing domestic pool of unemployed native and immigrant workers in the US, instead of flying in cheaper workers from overseas,” it said.

However, Cato Institute in a policy paper $ said that Trump’s H-1B visa policy proposal will reduce the number of legal skilled temporary migrant workers.

Just over 124,000 H-1Bs were approved in 2014 for initial employment in the US, with 85,000 of them for employment in firms and the rest in non-profit research institutions.

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The Cato Institute said the policy would increase the regulatory cost for American firms hiring skilled foreign workers in speciality occupations.

“Congress considered this policy for the H-1B visa in 1990 and rejected it because the regulatory costs would be so high,” Nowrasteh said.