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United States Businesses Government Politics

Trump Says He Wants Skilled Migrants But Creates New Hurdles (apnews.com) 327

An anonymous reader shares an Associated Press report: It may be a while before President Donald Trump gets another chance at creating a new, "merit-based" immigration system, a keystone of his four-part plan that Congress rejected last month. In the meantime, his administration is busy making it harder, not easier, for skilled migrants to come work in the United States. The State Department has ended an Obama-era program to grant visas to foreign entrepreneurs who want to start companies in the United States. It is more aggressively scrutinizing visas to skilled workers from other countries. And it is contemplating ending a provision that allows spouses of those skilled workers to be employed in the U.S.

The administration and its backers contend it's trying to fix flaws in the existing, employer-centric skilled immigration system while advocating for a complete overhaul of America's immigration system. "The stuff that they're actually doing is not so much restricting skilled immigration as enforcing the law," said Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies, which supports reducing immigration. "They're rolling back some of the extralegal measures that other administrations have taken." A primary avenue for skilled immigrants to enter the United States is the H1B visa for specialty workers, which is heavily used by the technology industry. About 85,000 visas are issued annually in a lottery system. Some critics argue they are a way for companies to avoid hiring U.S. citizens; Trump himself has said H1B recipients shouldn't even be considered skilled.
Further reading: On Easter Sunday, Trump threatens to end DACA and 'stop' NAFTA.
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Trump Says He Wants Skilled Migrants But Creates New Hurdles

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  • by Type44Q ( 1233630 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @05:02PM (#56363865)
    Good.
    • New hurdles to non-Nordics that is.

    • You'll be pleased to hear that I've got no plans to come over and steal your job.
  • if increased_h-1b_restrictions is True then:
    result = lobby_congress_to_get_rid_of_regulations()
    if result is False then:
    result = move_most_operations_overseas()
    if border_adjustment_tax is True then:
    result = initiate_second_business_plot()
    if result is False
    flee_country()

  • What ever. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @05:30PM (#56363949)
    If he cracks down on H1B abuse, that's a good thing in both the short and the long run, regardless of what the vested interests that are big media and big tech have to say on the subject. And given past reporting on the economics of H1B, it is fair to say that much of the program is abuse. Good on Trump.

    As to the rest of it...that's right: Congress needs to change the law in order for the law to be changed. I understand why this may come as unexpected news given the previous administration's looser interpretation of the separation of powers and big media's unabashed cheerleading of that loose interpretation but it is indeed the case that if we want merit-based immigration, then we need to change the law from what we have now to what we would like to have.

    Enforcing the letter of the existing laws to highlight their inadequacy is about the only thing the President can do to force the issue. That's what happened with terminating DACA. The lefties couldn't stomach actually having to vote on amnesty for an ever-changing and open-ended number of illegal immigrants so they sued in a friendly court where an Obama-appointed judge made the curious ruling that the Trump administration could not terminate DACA on the grounds of its illegality because only a court could find something illegal. We'll see what sort of contortions the left will make in their inevitable court challenge. Perhaps they will find a judge who is willing to rule that only even-numbered presidents may issue executive orders while odd-numbered presidents are obliged to keep on enforcing them, on the grounds that no one wants odd governance and an even-handed approach is more mathematically beautiful.
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In one paragraph you complain about the president overstepping into the domain of the judicial branch.

      In the next you complain about a court preventing the president from overstepping into the domain of the judicial branch.

      That's some impressive doublethink.

      • You ought to learn how American government is meant to work before you try to accuse people of hypocrisy when they explain how it should work.

        It doesn't work like it does in Britain where there are no real boundaries between lawmaking, law enforcement, and the judiciary, and the whole thing is duct tape, bailing wire, and tradition. We have a Constitution that delineates the bounds of authority of different branches of government and is deliberately set up to require broad consensus before major changes i
        • and is deliberately set up to require broad consensus before major changes in policy like immigration law may be adopted.

          Many laws grant the President a broad discretion of powers, and so he creates administrative agencies (by executive order) to exercise those powers. Those agencies change the rules now and then; sometimes, the President orders them to change the rules.

          What is within the power granted to the Executive and not mandated the specific duty of the Executive may or may not be done by the Executive, and so the Executive may set policy. Some laws say "The Attorney General shall...", others simply specify what sh

          • Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Congress can write the law any way it likes, but it can't delegate all of its authority away. Congress gave Bill Clinton a line-item veto by legislation. The courts found that law to be constitutional on the grounds that the executive is only empowered by the Constitution to either sign/ignore or veto a bill and send it back with a reason why, not to sign a fraction of it, and a line-item veto deviates too far from that to be allowed to be instituted by legislation and not an am
  • Trump wants to make it harder for low skilled temporary workers to come the United States. Trump wants to make it easier for high skilled immigrants to come to the United States... which is something different.

  • by DeplorableCodeMonkey ( 4828467 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @06:06PM (#56364043)

    The amount of capital B, grade A Bullshit you have to deal with with screening Americans is bad enough. The amount of fraud you get from the developing world is just unbelievable. "Why yes, I have 20 years of experience with writing Hadoop applications in Go with a UI written in Rust."

    Oh really, it say you graduated from a diploma mill 3 years ago...

  • Fix H1B Visas (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rossz ( 67331 ) <ogre@geekbiker.nFORTRANet minus language> on Sunday April 01, 2018 @06:07PM (#56364047) Homepage Journal

    Currently, H1B visas are being abused by the employers. They have, effectively, a slave. Complain, get fired, lose your visa. It's a simple fix. Tie the H1B visa to the worker, not to the company. Make it easy for the visa holder to change jobs. It shouldn't be any more difficult than updating an online form with new employment information. This will eliminate the worst of the abusers. One other change I would make. H1B visa holders should be barred from working for a contracting company.

    • it'll marginally raise the wages but it won't eliminate the main reason companies want H1-Bs: zero training. They don't even have to maintain the school system anymore. Other countries do it for them. Worse, those countries churn out employees with highly specialized skills. When tech changes those employees either fall by the wayside or they work 90/hr/week on their own time/dime to keep their skills current.

      You'd need to increase the cost of an H1-B by a factor of 5-10x to account for the full scope
      • by swb ( 14022 )

        How do we know how great their training is?

        If I was just screening Americans for a position today, I'd have to worry about a bunch of vendor certifications and whether they were useful or just empty treadmilling, past experience, and possibly educational background (which grows less relevant with experience). That's a whole minefield of bullshit, and various levels of lying about skills and experience, some of which is standard puffery, some of which is deliberate dishonesty.

        With foreign workers? I have n

        • We have all kinds of problems with both American and foreign workers. Those problems stopped when we brought in project managers who didn't tolerate the backwards, broken way we manage projects.

          All bureaucracy should facilitate, not impede. Bureaucracy typically either fails to facilitate (too little red tape) or impedes (too much red tape--see: THE IRS). PMI is essentially an organization tasked with the ongoing study of making bureaucracy efficient; there are, however, a lot of really bad project m

    • One more change: Add a minimum wage, say above $100,000 per year, and entitle them to Citizenship after 2 years. If they are worth that money then they are clearly a good deal for America and should be kept. You could even get rid of the limited numbers and lottery, since you'd only be importing "Valuable" people.
  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @09:15PM (#56364573)

    The H1B program is designed to replace Americans with cheaper offshore workers.

    Unlike most visas, the H1B specifically allows companies to replace Americans with cheaper H1Bs, even if the American worker is doing a good job.

    The program is a complete scam.

    • There is a slight bit of misinformation here. Most anti H1B people think all H1B's == the types working in sweatshops like Infosys. There are workers on that visa in places like Google,Facebook and many start-ups where : 1) The foreign worker has to pass multiple rounds of technical interviews just like an American hire. Whereas the interviews in H1B abuse sweatshops like Infosys are a complete joke. 2) The foreign worker in these places is paid 6 figure salaries which correspond to the highest bracket fo
  • by nicolaiplum ( 169077 ) on Sunday April 01, 2018 @09:34PM (#56364627)

    The most significant part of this is an intent to prevent spouses from working.

    The most common reason for failure (i.e. return to origin country) of expatriation or immigration of skilled workers is the partner being unhappy. For people from most developed countries, their husband or wife also expects a career - the time of househusbands or even housewives living on a one income family and being happy about that is over. In academia, this is known as the two-body problem: if you hire an academic from another country, there are two bodies to please, not just one.

    So if Trump makes it impossible to get a work permit for a spouse when a highly skilled migrant moves to the USA, all those from countries where men and women have approximate equality will just not come. Try telling your partner you're moving to different country for a great professional opportunity but they can't work when they're there, so they have to give up their career and can't start another job or another occupation. It won't go well for most of you, and that's particularly true if you're higher skilled and globally mobile because such people tend to have partners or spouses who are also higher skilled and globally mobile.

    Of course, this won't discourage people who are in large company H1B visa schemes used to supply more generic mid-skilled workers for contracts in the USA, especially as they are usually younger and less likely to have spouses and children.

    But the university professors, top engineering talent, top management talent - that will all go "My wife can't work? My husband has to lose his career? No thanks - I'll take that job in another country instead." Trump won't understand or even notice, but universities, tech corporations, engineering corporations, and even orchestras will notice.

    • so I don't think he'll be doing it, so no worries there. But there's an easy solution to the problem you raised: Pay an H1-B 5x-10x the prevailing wage. If they really do have skills critical to the company that no American has or can be trained to have in a reasonable time then that's not a bad deal. It needs to be that high or the money savings from zero training and the ability to work them longer hours maintain the imbalance.
  • Teachers in West Virginia went on strike, teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky are going to strike because they do not get paid enough. Companies want more profit so they push for reduced taxes and lower wages. This removes a tax base for paying teachers.

    It is cheaper to hire workers from with $8000 university degrees and no student loans than to pay taxes to support education.

    The H-1B program was started in 1996 as a temporary solution for tech shortages. 22 years later there is still a tech work shortage

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