A few days ago, Ricky Vaughn and others were excited by the news that the Trump administration was planning to force hundred of thousands of H-1B visa holders to leave the country:
“The Trump administration is considering rules for the H-1B visa program for high-tech workers that would prevent the visas from being extended.
The change is apparently intended to force the recipients, which number in the hundreds of thousands, to return to their country of origin before they could complete green card applications to stay in the U.S.
The proposed change was reported by the McClatchy newspaper chain, citing two anonymous sources briefed on the plan, which is being prepared by officials at the Department of Homeland Security. “The idea is to create a sort of ‘self-deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” one source told McClatchy. …”
The Trump administration was planning to go through with it until the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and lobbyists for the Indian government sprung into action:
“Under intense pressure from the business and technology communities, the Trump administration appears to be backing away from a policy change that could have forced foreign tech workers out of the country.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of the Department of Homeland Security, on Monday said it was still conducting a thorough review of worker visa programs. But after McClatchy reported over New Year’s weekend that the agency was weighing a specific policy shift that would prevent foreign tech industry workers from keeping their visas longer than six years, the agency reversed course on that proposal. …
“What we can say, however, is that USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H-1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC-21, which provides for H-1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit,” the agency told McClatchy. …”
But multiple sources with direct knowledge of the conversations inside the department said that was not true, and that the administration had shifted over the last two weeks in response to the swift and harsh reaction from the business community.”
You know how this goes. It is the same old story of a populist reform being vetoed by the overwhelming power and influence of the business community over the Republican Party.