H-1B Visas And Trump’s Next ‘Merit-Based’ Immigration Plan

Donald Trump is expected to take at least one more significant action on immigration before the November election. If history is a guide, he will call the move “merit-based” but end up restricting the ability of companies to employ high-skilled foreign nationals.

“President Trump and top White House officials are privately considering a controversial strategy to act without legal authority to enact new federal policies – starting with immigration,” according to Axios. “The order could . . . include significant new restrictions on immigration that couldn’t get through Congress but are favored by the president, Jared Kushner and hardline adviser Stephen Miller.” Trump’s thinking, Axios reported, is “heavily influenced” by former Bush administration attorney John Yoo, who wrote in a National Review article, the Supreme Court’s 5-4 DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] ruling last month “makes it easy for presidents to violate the law.”

“I said, ‘Why not just take the DACA opinion itself and do a search-replace. And every time it says ‘DACA’ … replace it with ‘skills-based immigration system,’” Yoo said he told the White House. “This gives President Trump an alternative to create such a program, at least for a few years,” reported the Associated Press. “Not long after the conversations, Trump began promising a series of new executive orders on a range of issues.” Legal scholars dispute Yoo’s interpretation of the Supreme Court decision, arguing it restricted, not expanded executive branch authority.

Trump added to the confusion with a statement on July 10, 2020: “We’re working out the legal complexities right now, but I’m going to be signing a very major immigration bill as an executive order, which Supreme Court now, because of the DACA decision, has given me the power to do that.” A bill and an executive order are two different things. The administration issued a July 28, 2020, memorandum restricting DACA renewals to one year and refusing to process new applications.

By Stuart Anderson for Forbes
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