US President Donald Trump has spent a considerable time in addressing the promises he made on immigration during the electoral campaign. Many stakeholders in the immigration industry and business sector are quite apprehensive regarding the impact of the immigration reforms on the economy of the US that might be pursued by the President.
Press Secretary of the White House, Sean Spicer has said that diverse initiatives will be taken to address the issue of immigration as a whole through both executive action and broad legislative measures.
Here is an analysis of the most contentious and largest visa programs of the US; the likely impact of the various reforms that will result from the proposed reforms of the US visa regime and influence on the nation’s economy, as quoted by the Dallas News.
Refugees form a very small percentage of the total immigration to the US. It is regulated by a regional need-based capped system. The limit for 2016 was 85,000 that were raised to 110,000 by former US President Barack Obama. Even this number is very low as the number of immigrants who obtained legal authorization to reside in the US in the 2015 fiscal year was 1 million people.
Reforms and effect: The immigration ban imposed by Trump seeks to halt the refugee arrival for 4 months. Meanwhile, it is planned to review the refugee program and it will be re-launched with capped limits of 50,000 for the fiscal year 2017.
Visas that are authorized for jobs are a crucial non-immigrant class. The chief visa category in this class is the H1-B visa that permits firms to recruit provisional workers for special jobs. The L-1 category permits for transfers of employees within the company and J-1 visa that permits people to arrive in the US for training, business, research or medical purposes.
Reforms and effect: Trump has never been firm on his stand on the provisional visa categories and has been doing a flip-flop on the issue. He has said that the Americans must be given priority when it comes to jobs and giving prominence to highly paid immigrant applicants. Meanwhile, the US Congress is also working on this agenda and there is no clarity on the final impact of the proposed reforms. The firms that are dependent on this visa program have demanded to keep the visa program liberal and flexible.
The F and M categories of visas cater to the students including their spouses and children. F category visas are for conventional students and M category visas are for occupational students.
Reforms and effect: The US administration headed by Trump has never given any signs that there would be serious curbs imposed on the student category visas. But in case if the H1-B visas and similar job-
related visas are curbed, graduates who look forward to working in the US after their studies could be affected.
B1 and B2 visas fall under the B category visas that authorize arrival of travelers to the US with business purposes. This category caters to a large number of people who arrive at the US for temporary reasons or partial business purposes. It includes visas issued for multiple entries at the border of US and Mexico.
Reforms and effect: The nation specific ban ordered by Trump did have an impact on this category of travelers as of the total business travelers to the US 55, 534 visitors were from the seven banned nations. Out of them, 27, 854 were from Iran alone.