A sweeping proposed order would, essentially, operate across a number of channels to reduce the scope of legal immigration to the United States. It also begins to lay the administrative and policy groundwork for further legislation altering the scope of legal immigration into one that, in the words of the cover memo, "prioritizes the interests of American workers and - to the maximum degree possible - the jobs, wages, and well-being of those workers."
The order itself contains a variety of provisions. One would reverse Obama's extension of the duration of Optional Practical Training work visas and decision to allow the spouses of H-1B guest workers to also have work permits. Another would undo relief Obama has granted to people eligible for green cards but unable to apply for them due to what's known as the "three- and ten-year bars."
Another provision calls on the Department of Homeland Security to begin "site visits" at places that employ guest workers with L-1 visas and then to expand the site-visit program to cover all employment-based visa programs within two years.
Other provisions are less clear in their impact. The order directs the secretary of homeland security to promulgate a regulation that would "restore the integrity of employment-based nonimmigrant worker programs" and to "consider ways" to alter the H-1B program (for technical guest workers) to be "more efficient and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and the brightest." The H-1B program, which is often used by outsourcing firms, has come under recent criticism from both Trumpist Republicans and pro-labor Democrats, and the Trump administration is reportedly looking at another way to determine which of the hundreds of thousands of H-1B applicants get visas (instead of the current lottery system).
Another directs DHS to "improve monitoring of foreign students" and to "reform practical training programs for foreign students to prevent the disadvantaging of US students in the workforce." Another calls for the promulgation of a new regulation to "clarify comprehensively" that people on tourist visas may not perform skilled or unskilled labor. Another directs the secretary of state to "reform the J-1 Summer Work Travel program to improve protections of US workers."
Another provision calls on DHS to do what it can to incentivize more employers to participate in the E-Verify system.
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