One of Trump’s main campaign promises was to radically restrict immigration. At the time many pundits and commentators dismissed this as campaign rhetoric. However, it seems that this is one promise that Trump intends to make good on.
The Trump administration has already attempted to ban immigration from seven Muslim countries, and DW has now reported that he has targeted over 11 million undocumented immigrants for forced deportation. The H1B visa for highly skilled workers may be overhauled or even abolished. According to Max Bearak of the Washington Post, Trump feels that the programs brings cheap labor and is open to “widespread abuse”.
The H1B visas are widely used by the IT, engineering, and other high tech industries in order to attract foreign talent to work in US firms. Paige Tanner of The Market Realist reported that US companies such as Apple, Google, and Intel (INTC) would be hardest hit, as between 17% and 38% of the work force at American technology firms is Asian.
Chinese graduates hoping to go to the US under this program may no longer be able to. Additionally, economists believe that losing all of those skilled workers will have a negative impact on the US and take away the US competitive edge in the technology sector.
While ending the H1B visa may have some impact on the economy, the Chinese English language news outlet Juwai reports that the visa with the most direct impact is the EB-5 investment visa, which is favored by the Chinese. Juwai explains that under this program foreigners investing $1 million or as little as $500,000 in an economically depressed area and creating 10 or more full-time jobs can remain in the US with a Green Card. This visa has been a major source of funding for various construction projects, such as Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards, as well a small North Dakota factory that makes biodegradable food containers.
By Antonio Graceffo for Foreign Policy Journal
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