It appears that President Donald Trump will continue his assault on U.S. immigration, with a new executive order, Protecting American Jobs and Workers by Strengthening the Integrity of Foreign Work Visa Programs. While the purpose of this policy is to implement immigration laws to “protect, to the maximum degree possible, the jobs wages, and well-being of United States workers,” this executive order appears to be an immigration restrictionist’s dream come true. Here is what President Trump has ordered:
1. Review of Nonimmigrant Regulations. President Trump has directed the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to review all regulations allowing foreign nationals to work in the U.S. and determine whether they are “in the national interest and should be rescinded” within 90 days of the executive order. He also directed DHS to work with the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to issue new regulations to “restore the integrity of employment-based nonimmigrant worker programs and better protect U.S. and foreign workers affected by those programs.”
2. Termination of Existing Parole Policies. President Trump has directed the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) to immediately terminate all existing parole policies, guidance, and program, and to clarify that parole may never be used to admit entire classes of foreign nationals into the U.S.
3. L-1 Site Visits. President Trump has called for DHS to perform more site visits at places of employment of L-1 nonimmigrant workers, and third-party worksites, within 180 days of the executive order and to develop a plan to expand the site visit program within 2 years to cover all employment-based visa programs.
4. Merit-Based Immigration System. President Trump has mandated DHS to provide recommendations for making U.S. immigration policy better serve the national interest and to “recommend changes to the immigration laws to move towards a merit-based system.” This includes considering how to make the process for allocating H-1B visas more efficiently and only to “the best and brightest” foreign workers.
5. Fewer Options for Foreign Students Post-Graduation. President Trump has directed DHS to propose regulations to reform practical training program for foreign students “to prevent the disadvantaging of U.S. students in the workforce.
6. Permissible Activities for Certain Nonimmigrants. President Trump has also directed DHS to propose regulations to clarify which activities are and are not permissible by aliens who enter the U.S. on business (B-1) or tourist (B-2) visas. Likewise, DHS is propose regulations to reform the E-2 Treaty Investor visa category to limit certain activities by foreign entrepreneurs.
7. Expanded Use of E-Verify. President Trump has directed DHS to propose options to expand the participation of E-Verify by U.S. employers. This includes conditioning immigration-related benefits on participation in E-Verify.
8. Immigrant Visas. President Trump has directed the Secretary of State and DHS to ensure that an immigrant visa is “immediately available” in conformance with Congressional intent. This may eliminate the use of “Date for Filing Applications” chart current listed in each month’s Visa Bulletin.
9. Investigations by Department of Labor. President Trump has directed DOL to investigate the extent of injuries to U.S. workers (including wages and employment) caused by the nonimmigrants admitted to the U.S. to work and to provide a report within 18 months of the executive order. An initial, similar report is required within 9 months of the executive order for work performed by nonimmigrants on H-1B, L-1, and B-1 visa categories.
Please contact your Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP immigration attorney today if you have any questions on how President Trump’s new immigration policies may affect you or your immigration status.