Here is a summary of a webinar presentation from October 29, 2020 by Fragoman, which is an immigration law firm in NYC, NY.
The speakers spoke of what a second term of a Trump administration will look like for immigration to the U.S., which includes international students and H1B visas. Regulations will continue to be put in place to make the OPT program extinct.
Under a Biden Administration, we should brace ourselves for the reality that miracles cannot happen, and even if there are miracles they will not happen overnight. The significant changes the current administration has made to the various offices of the government with the signing of Executive Orders (EO) and passage of a number of regulations would require a Democratic majority in all branches of the government and not just for one term but for two or more terms to ensure some resetting and correction. Though we can expect a lessening of the attacks against immigration under a Biden Administration, the newly instated laws would still be in place and enforced regardless of who takes office.
Once EO’s have been signed and regulations written and put into place, it will take years to have them rescinded. Though under Biden, we can expect a more friendly outlook on immigration and international students, he will be facing laws that will be difficult to challenge and rescind.
There is a new proposed law that USCIS leaked last night which has not yet been announced by the Federal Register Publications, and it will put further limits on the H1B visa. Under this new regulation, the H1B visa will be given only to very season experienced professionals coming to the U.S. for employment at jobs with very high salaries. This automatically will eliminate the H1B visas issued to international graduate students in master’s and doctoral degree programs that need it for their OPTs. This new regulation according to the immigration lawyers will automatically eliminate the younger candidate, that is, the international students.
What can we do? Strong and consistent advocacy and litigation.
Earlier this week letters from a couple of NAFSA Regions’ Government Regulation Advisory Committee (GRACE) representatives and their respective lawyers were sent to the Department of Homeland Security. Expect to see more of this in the coming years, whether under a second Trump Administration or a new Biden Administration.
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