By Agence France-Presse – Re-Blogged From Liberty Headlines
‘Rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay…’
(AFP) President Donald Trump said Friday he would make it easier for top-skilled workers to stay in the United States and become citizens.
Trump pledged to reform coveted H1-B visas, for which three-quarters of applicants are from India, most of them in the technology sector.
“H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship,” Trump tweeted.
“We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.”
The real estate mogul ran for president as a hardliner on immigration and has previously vowed to crack down on H1-Bs by encouraging reporting of visa fraud and insisting that businesses first hire Americans.
His promise on H1-Bs came just as Trump is pressing to build a wall on the Mexican border to keep out unauthorized immigrants, in a showdown with Congress that has triggered a shutdown of the federal government.
While it was unclear what prompted Trump’s tweet, The Washington Post on Friday ran a front-page article on how tech workers are increasingly moving from the United States to Canada due to the hassle in obtaining H1-B visas.
Silicon Valley and India have both pushed hard for a more generous visa system for skilled foreign employees, saying they are indispensable in powering the tech industry, but critics charge that native-born Americans should have priority for the generally well-paying jobs.
The United States each year grants 85,000 H1-B visas, including 20,000 that are reserved for workers with master’s degrees or higher.
H1-B visas are granted to professional workers sponsored by employers for a period of three years, which can be extended once.
The visa can still be simpler to obtain than seeking to become a permanent resident and eventually citizen of the United States.
Studying official data, the Cato Institute last year estimated the wait for an Indian seeking an EB-2 visa, which provides permanent residency based on advanced academic achievement, had risen to 151 years — at which point, barring a medical miracle, the applicant would be dead.
Apprehensions in one day at one security location included individuals from India, Pakistan, China, Romania…
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) President Donald Trump traveled to the McAllen, Texas area of the U.S.-Mexico border Thursday, in an attempt to bring clarity to the law enforcement and humanitarian crisis on the southern border.
He learned that it’s not just people from Mexico and Central America exploiting its weakness.
Trump, along with Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, met at the physical border with officers from the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection, U.S. Border Patrol, and local law enforcement agencies.
Before a border patrol commander spoke to reporters, he could be heard on a FOX 10 Phoenix hot-mic telling the president that 450 illegal border crossers were apprehended the previous day.
And of those, 133 were from non-Latin American countries.
The commander then addressed the media, saying, “So far this sector has apprehended folks from 41 different countries.”
“Just yesterday we apprehended 133 people from countries other than Central America and Mexico. That includes individuals from India, Pakistan, China, Romania, and on and on and on,” he said.
Standing next to Trump, the commander explained that asylum seekers with children have become less than 50 percent of illegal entrants. Instead, unknown male migrants now make up more than 60 percent of apprehended southern border crossers.
“They’re coming from the Middle East. They’re coming from all over the world,” said Trump.
“We need security. We need the kind of back-up that you want,” he said to the group of officers. “We have lists of things they need, and what they need more than anything is a barrier, or a wall. Call it whatever you want, whether it’s steel or concrete, they don’t care.”
According to the Department of Homeland Security, about 10 known or suspected terrorists are caught trying to enter the United States every day.
But about 3,000 “special interest” aliens tried to enter the U.S. last year.
Special interest aliens are from countries with known terrorist activities and who illegally try to cross the southern border with Latin American immigrants.
“Often these are individuals who have obtained false documents, or used smugglers to evade security across multiple countries,” DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said last week.
In April 2017, former DHS Secretary John Kelly said the U.S. is facing the highest terror-threat level in years because of mass illegal immigration.
“We face very real threats from so-called special-interest aliens that move at great expense from vast distances outside the hemisphere along the network into the United States,” Kelly said.
“These individuals pay TCOs [transnational criminal organizations] huge sums of money to transport them from, for example, the Middle East or Asia, through South and Central America and into the United States,” he said.
As Liberty Headlines previously reported, countries like Panama and Costa Rica are actually helping thousands of migrants reach the southern border through a policy known as “controlled flow.”
The mass-migration initiative provides government assistance to illegal aliens and asylum seekers—regardless of their legitimacy—and includes Middle Easterners from terror-prone countries who blend into the U.S.-bound crowds.
“At a time when the U.S. government remains partially shut down because congressional leaders have dismissed President Trump’s national security concerns at the border, these Central American governments have effectively become human smugglers,” said Todd Bensman, national security researcher for the Center for Immigration Studies.
Sen. Ted Cruz spoke with multi-agency border security officers during a roundtable discussion Thursday, and said, “Illegal immigration produces tragedies every day.”
Cruz was referred to the epidemic of human trafficking, illegal drugs and violent crime enabled by the porous border.
“This is a fight the people of Texas and the American people want,” Cruz said.
“They want the borders secure. They want the federal government to have the backs of the men and women in this room who are risking their lives to keep us safe,” he said.