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Immigration Law

Expert: Draft Trump Executive Order Tightening H-1B Rules Sends Wrong Signal

Julie McCarthy, NPR, Feb. 14, 2017 - "Congress and the White House have targeted what is arguably the most coveted of U.S. visas: the H-1B. It's "a kind of temporary work visa that allows professionals from other countries to work in the United States for a designated U.S. employer," explains Stephen Yale-Loehr, a Cornell University immigration law professor. Yale-Loehr says that with the economy strengthening, the program is in particularly big demand. Last year, U.S. companies that sought to bring highly skilled workers to the U.S. filed 236,000 petitions that went into a lottery for just 85,000 H-1B visas, the legal cap. ... Immigration expert Yale-Loehr, co-author of a 21-volume treatise on immigration law, agrees that the United States faces a crisis in maintaining its innovative and competitive edge, and says it should be inviting more, not less, IT talent to its shores. "In a globalized economy, the best and the brightest want to work in the best places — and if they're unable work in the United States, or it takes too long or is too difficult, they'll find a place in Canada or Europe or India where their talents can be appreciated," he says. If implemented, Yale-Loehr says the draft executive order would initiate a review of the H-1B program but likely have no direct, immediate impact. However, he says "it sends a strong signal that we no longer like foreign workers — we're all about only U.S. workers. "That is eventually going to hurt us." "