Trump promises citizenship path for skilled workers

Clay Curtis
January 12, 2019

The White House did not immediately comment on whether President Trump was considering changes beyond those proposed in new rules issued in December by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Trump, who has also sought to limit legal immigration, in April 2017 ordered a reform of the USA visa program to benefit educated and highly skilled workers. H-1B visa holders can apply for a green card to obtain permanent residency - but even a green card does not equate to citizenship.

US President Donald Trump on Friday assured H-1B visa holders, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indian IT professionals, that his administration will soon bring changes that will give them certainty to stay in America and a "potential path to citizenship".

The president's softening on the legal immigration through H-1B issue did not please the American tech workers constituency that has campaigned against the H-1B guest worker program citing widespread misuse, and which supported him in hope that he will curtail it. "We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US", Trump tweeted on Friday morning, hours after he returned from Texas, where he inspected the border and held a round table to make the case for Congressional funding for a border wall.

The proposal is created to increase by 5,340, or 16 per cent, the number of H-1B beneficiaries who hold advanced degrees from American universities.

The tweet came as a partial government shutdown enters its fourth week amid an impasse over Trump's demand that lawmakers to allot $5.7 billion for construction of his proposed wall along the U.S. -Mexico border, a central 2016 campaign promise.

FDA food inspections stopped after government shutdown
The Department of Agriculture said its inspections of meat, poultry, and eggs will also continue. The agency announced this week that romaine is safe to eat after concerns about E.

It would also streamline the application process with a new electronic registration system.

The president didn't say specifically how the visa program would be overhauled. Trump has refused to sign on to a bill unless it includes $5.6 billion to build a wall along the country's southern border to prevent illegal immigration by migrants.

Democrats call the proposed wall expensive, ineffective and immoral. The dispute has led to a partial shutdown of the US government that is now in its 21st day.

Immigration authorities have also pledged to revise the requirements to qualify for an H-1B visa in an effort to curb abuse and move to a more merit-based system.

The United States grants 65,000 H-1B visas every year and an additional 20,000 visas for those with a master's degree or higher. Silicon Valley companies are the heaviest users of the H-1B visa.

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