Many Maryland residents are aware that immigration reform was part of Donald Trump’s platform. One way to achieve his goals may be to reform the H-1B visas, which some claim are harmful to American workers. The visa allows American employers to hire skilled workers such as scientists or engineers for a short period of time. There are 85,000 such visas available per year, and those granted one are allowed into the country on a non-immigrant basis.
Critics of the H-1B visa say that the system has been abused and is now a method of replacing American workers with less expensive foreign labor. A statement from a member of the Federation for American Immigration Reform claims that lobbying efforts have led to relaxed visa standards that hurt American workers. It further claims that American workers are forced to train their replacements before they are eventually let go.
Although Trump has been both for and against the use of the H-1B visa, his pick for U.S. attorney general has taken hardline stances against both legal and illegal immigration. However, supporters of the program believe that gutting it could have unintended consequences that hurt the American economy. Therefore, they are more in favor of surgical cuts and strategic reforms to help it work better, and proponents warn that eliminating the program could force employers to ship jobs overseas.
The H-1B visa is just one of many non-immigrant visas that federal law has allowed. However, immigration law is subject to rapid change even where there is not a change in presidential administrations, and thus people who are interested in this form of being allowed to work in the U.S. may want to meet with an attorney to see what changes might be in store.