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Trump Hints At Executive Order for Merit-Based Immigration | Immigration Attorney Mario A. Godoy | Godoy Law Office

Trump Hints At Executive Order for Merit-Based Immigration

President Trump has given strong indications that prior to the November elections he will sign an executive order to enact many of the immigration policies he has been unable to pass through legislation. Trump’s 2016 campaign platform included new restrictions on legal immigration. Over the past few months, he has publicly advocated for a new “merit-based” immigration plan that would eliminate all current family and employment-based preference categories and replace them with new “Build America” visas awarded by points.

Political analysts say an important executive order would need to be signed at minimum 60 days before it goes into effect. If Trump is not reelected as President in November, the new order would need to be signed no later than 60 days prior to January 19, 2021, or Friday, November 20, 2020 – after the November elections. Immigration advocates say Trump’s plan could remove an estimated 4 million people off immigrant waiting lists.

Targeting H-1B Visas and Family-Based Immigration

The presidential merit-based immigration order would limit the ability of companies to employ high-skilled foreign nationals using H-1B visas and family-based immigrants:

• H-1B visas are for highly-skilled foreign workers, often in the technology fields. Trump issued a Presidential Proclamation in June that suspended the entry of foreign nationals on H-1B and L-1 visas until at least December 31, 2020.

• Frequently calling it “chain migration,” Trump has advocated to eliminate family-sponsored green cards for the parents, adult children, and siblings of U.S. citizens, as well as the spouses and young children of permanent residents.

Immigration experts say that current USCIS immigration policies are primarily merit-based; H-1B visa merits are determined by employers, instead of the merits chosen by the government.

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