Two draft executive orders by the Trump Administration will end some of the key immigration reforms of the Obama Administration.
The draft orders, copies of which were obtained and originally reported by Vox, also place more restrictions on legal immigration.
The draft order, titled “Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Worker Visa Programs,” seeks to protect the jobs and wages of American workers. Key provisions include:
- Eliminating the consideration of parole for foreign entrepreneurs, the International Entrepreneur Rule.
- Preventing H-4 visa holders—typically the spouses of H-1B visa holders—from getting work permits.
- Eliminating the 24-month extension of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) for F-1 students who graduate with STEM degrees.
- Eliminating provisional waivers that became available last year for immigrants eligible for green cards, but face the “three- and ten-year bars.”
- Requiring the Department of Homeland Security to visit companies that employ managers, executives and other specialized workers with L-1 visas. It also calls on Homeland Security to develop a plan to conduct similar site visits at all companies that have any workers with employment-based visas.
These changes would devastate hard-working foreign nationals in the United States and their families. It would also make it very difficult for companies that are relying on workers in these categories to continue business. Obviously, immigration law needs reform, but dismantling President Obama’s positive changes is not the most prudent way to move forward.
The draft order, titled “Ending Unconstitutional, Executive Amnesties,” would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA protects those who came to the U.S. at 16 years of age or younger, pursued or were pursuing an education in the U.S. and had no felony convictions. DACA allowed these individuals to remain in the U.S. and get work permits.
Since 2012, DACA has protected more than 740,000 immigrants from deportation. These hard-working, law-abiding young people of good moral character are already integrated into the fabric of American society and deserve to be able to call the United States their home.
During this time of upheaval and uncertainty with the new administration, let us help you figure out the best visa and green card options for yourself and your family. Contact us.