back to article H-1B visa hopefuls, green card holders are feeling the wrath of 'America first' Trump

Following President Donald Trump's demands for a crackdown on H-1B visas, there has been a radical shift in how US immigration officials handle applications for the program. Every year, Uncle Sam allocates 65,000 H-1B visas for highly skilled foreigners keen to work in the Land of the Free™, with an additional 20,000 reserved …

  1. James 51 Silver badge
    FAIL

    *Sigh* This isn't America First, it's My Supporters First or rather Lets Pretend I'm Doing It For My Supporters First. The US has benefited immeasurably from immigration. It has the most Nobel prizes precisely because most of the people who have won them have immigrated from other countries to be there. It’s sad to see.

    1. nerdbert

      "It has the most Nobel prizes precisely because most of the people who have won them have immigrated from other countries to be there."

      Somehow I don't think Einstein would have had any trouble getting through a merit-based immigration system, nor would he be disqualified under the "moral turpitude" clause that's hitting that Polish-born doctor. He's being reviewed for deportation (and it's not a certainty) because of convictions for receiving stolen goods years ago. But as the article noted, had he gone and applied for citizenship as many green card holders have done, this wouldn't be an issue now for him.

      To me, the more telling comment is the lawyer who said that H1-B applications would have more chance of being approved if they didn't pay the absolute minimum wage required. Isn't that exactly how the program was sold? That H1-B was for those cases where jobs couldn't be filled by Americans?

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        "It has the most Nobel prizes precisely because most of the people who have won them have immigrated from other countries to be there."

        In the 2018 Bloomberg Innovaton Index I can't see any obvious correlation between list position and levels of immigration - though that's not to say the UK's ranking (17th...) might not be even worse without overseas academics, but clearly other factors are at play.

        Having said that, I really don't see the frenzy - and it's not restricted to the US: Australia and the UK are pretty keen on it too - to deport people who are otherwise legal residents but who have committed crimes. We don't deport our own citizens - we regard their sentence as being the punishment for the crime; I'm not sure that returning people to places to which they've had no connection for decades can be regarded as anything other than xenophobic vindictiveness.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: We don't deport our own citizens

          We did once and I'm sure that there are people on the political fringes of both left and right that would do it again at a drop of a hat. Last time, we sent them to Australia where to now? Mars?

          an Island of Plastic waste in the middle of the ocean?

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: We don't deport our own citizens

            That nice country Canada passed a law to go one better. Citizens who were born in Canada can be deported if they hold or can obtain any other citizenship for certain crimes.

            Obviously this is only going to be used for terrorism - so no need to worry, it could never be abused because Canadians are nice.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: We don't deport our own citizens

              Citizens who were born in Canada can be deported if they hold or can obtain any other citizenship for certain crimes.

              Perhaps you mean "Citizens who were born in Canada can be deported for certain crimes if they hold or can obtain any other citizenship."

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: We don't deport our own citizens

                Perhaps you mean "Citizens who were born in Canada can be deported for certain crimes if they hold or can obtain any other citizenship."

                Thank you - yesmuch better phrasing

        2. ratfox Silver badge
          Meh

          I'm not sure that returning people to places to which they've had no connection for decades can be regarded as anything other than xenophobic vindictiveness.

          I don't think it's vindictiveness; it's just that the country prefers not to have to take care of these people.

          Of course, that's a huge problem for the people involved, but the fact they are not citizens precisely means that, technically, the country does not have to care: "I fail to see how that is my problem. Goodbye."

        3. bd1235

          xenophobic vindictiveness.

          You may call it that but in Australia it is used to get rid of recalcitrant offenders who somehow always seem to skate around the law. People who migrate to Australia and don't, like many UK citizens, take up Australian citizenship are at risk. Apparently there are many non citizens in our bikey (motorbike) gangs. We are fixing that with deportation. There are also quite a few New Zealanders awaiting deportation because they committed crimes. If people don't wish to become citizens and then commit crimes then they are at risk of deportation and family ties will not stop this happening. It's easy to avoid the problem. Become a citizen. It is far too easy.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            It's easy to avoid the problem. Become a citizen. It is far too easy.

            Unless you live in a country where you have to give up your previous nationality to get citizenship, or you come from a country which will revoke your citizenship if you become a citizen of another country, in which case it isn't.

        4. Stu Mac

          It just doesn't stack up. They are an issue for their own country and no reason they should cost Americans a dime.

          If you want to read about a great immigration system, read about Qatar. Paradoxically, they have it taped.

        5. Roland6 Silver badge

          In the 2018 Bloomberg Innovaton Index I can't see any obvious correlation between list position and levels of immigration - though that's not to say the UK's ranking (17th...) might not be even worse without overseas academics, but clearly other factors are at play.

          The UK's position would be significantly worse, if it hadn't woken up in the 1980's to the "brain drain" and done something positive about it to encourage UK resident academics to remain in the UK by both increasing funding of UK university-based R&D and promoting the UK as the place to do R&D. So I think in this specific case, the UK hasn't so much imported overseas academics in the same way as we import nurses etc., it has created an attractive environment for interesting R&D, which has attracted both investment and people.

          I'm not sure that returning people to places to which they've had no connection for decades can be regarded as anything other than xenophobic vindictiveness.

          Well it really is up to the individual to make the appropriate applications to have their 'home' officially recognised as being the USA. I suggest people don't because they regard the "places to which they've had no connection for decades" as their "permanent home". Hence all that is happening here is that the authorities are telling those who have made the decision that the USA is their "temporary" home (even if it is for decades) that they are no longer welcome and should return to the place they clearly regard as "home".

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Unfortunately, however, he would have been denied citizenship for exactly those charges that have him in trouble now.

        While his charges are criminal, there is almost nobody who has a Green Card that hasn't unknowingly made an error in paperwork or been "out of status" for a short period of time during the multi-year, sometimes decades, process of getting that Green Card.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

        It seems that the doctor has had at least a dozen interactions with police over the past decade or so - something that hasn't necessarily been widely reported. Most of these were traffic-related offenses (it seems he doesn't care much for following our traffic laws), but at least one was a DUI-type offense and another was related to domestic violence. So the whole "but these things happened way back when he was a teenager" angle probably qualifies as fake news being pushed by his family members.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

          However he was found not guilty in the domestic violence trial and came to an plea agreement in court for the driving offenses.

          When do we consider the debt to society paid, when the judge says so (USAian) or never (foreign)?

          it seems he doesn't care much for following our traffic laws

          As he's been living in the US since he was five and can't speak Polish, I guess you're insinuating he picked up bad driving habits when he was four?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

            "As he's been living in the US since he was five and can't speak Polish, I guess you're insinuating he picked up bad driving habits when he was four?"

            No, it probably has more to do with his being a doctor! As does the fact that he's been able to get off with just a slap on the wrist over all this stuff, at least up until now.

            Below is an extensive list of his post-teenage offenses, sourced from a Reddit thread; not sure what the original source for this list is though.

            Full list of the 18 interactions:

            Jan. 3, 1997: No proof of insurance

            June 9, 2004: Speeding 1-10 mph over

            July 29, 2004: Failure to change address on license

            April 3, 2005: No proof of insurance

            June 26, 2005: Failure to stop within assured clear distance accident

            July 1, 2008: Speeding: 16-plus mph over

            Dec. 24, 2008: Operating while impaired by liquor and careless driving

            Sept. 11, 2009: No proof of insurance and seat belt violation

            July 11, 2010: Drove without due care and caution accident

            May 5, 2012: Parked within 15 feet of a hydrant

            Aug. 4, 2012: Speeding 11-15 mph over

            Feb. 11, 2013: Speeding 1-10 mph over

            May 7, 2013: Speeding 1-10 mph over

            Aug. 19, 2013: Domestic violence (found not guilty by jury)

            Oct. 16, 2013: No proof of insurance

            April 20, 2014: No proof of insurance and speeding 1-10 mph over

            June 13, 2014: Speeding 1-10 mph over

            Jan. 4, 2016: No proof of insurance

            https://www.reddit.com/r/news/comments/7shaze/sister_of_michigan_doctor_detained_by_ice_he/dt5drzr/

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

              Quick, Send him to the Gas Chamber. He parked too close to a Hydrant.

              Getting a traffic ticket in some parts of the USA is just part of daily life. For many people it is no big deal.

              I even got one for not having a state tag on my numberplate. I was driving a vehicle with a UK reg and in the USA under a temporary import. No amount of argument could get the cop to see sense. The ticket remains unpaid to this day. I got it in 1976.

              Then compare his record and the damge to US society to the effect on people of all those Bankruptcies that the POTUS has been through?

              1. sprograms

                Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

                The POTUS hasn't been through bankruptcies. Corporations and partnerships which he owns or participates in have been put through bankruptcy. That isn't a crime, but rather a standard aspect of corporate America. No bank or investor lends money to a corporation or limited partnership oblivious to this fact of life.

              2. Chris Tierney

                Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

                So many questions. But one sticks out...how did you get your car to and from the U.S? Is there a ferry?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

              That list "offenses" from reddit seems below average for Americans. Even doctors. For it to even be part of the equation for his deportation is nonsense.

            3. jmch Silver badge

              Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

              "extensive list of his post-teenage offenses"

              So, the only one of those that is remotely serious is a drink-driving 10 yeras ago (I'm not counting the domestic violence as he was acquitted at trial). Re the proof of insurance, I'm just puzzled. Here in Switzerland when I pay my insurance they send a copy to the motor vehicle department. No insurance + vehicle road license is not renewed So if I have a valid license, it is in itself proof of insurance, if I don't then I'm in deep doo-doo. "No proof" seems like a stupid consequence of a stupid system

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: But the good doctor hasn't been keeping his nose clean!

                Under the current administration, just the DUI thing is potentially enough grounds to start deportation proceedings. As I understand it the rules for this date back to at least the Obama administration, but it's just not been stringently enforced until recently.

                https://nypost.com/2017/04/16/john-kelly-says-even-single-dui-can-start-deportation-process/

                As to proof-of-insurance, in the U.S. this is now generally more automated and a bit more flexible than it may seem at first, although it can vary considerably from state to state. But if you note that at least six of the 18 interactions that I listed earlier concerned proof-of-insurance violations (the earliest in 1997, the latest in 2016), then you can reasonably assume that the good doctor is just generally scoffing at the law here.

      4. DougS Silver badge

        @nerdbert - Einstein's "moral turpitude"

        Einstein would have definitely been disqualified under moral turpitude if it applied to him at the time. He divorced his first wife so he could marry his cousin, and was an avowed socialist and opponent of capitalism.

        The former wouldn't disqualify him today, not considering Trump's three divorces, affairs with porn stars and so forth. If they went to a merit based system and Trump's cronies were in charge of determining merit it isn't hard to imagine they'd refuse entry to an anti-capitalist socialist.

        1. Robert 22

          Re: @nerdbert - Einstein's "moral turpitude"

          And worse still - a pacifist!!!!!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Citizenship might not have helped him, either

        @Nerdbert - "... had he gone and applied for citizenship as many green card holders have done, this wouldn't be an issue now for him."

        Not necessarily the case under Trump. The Feds are now aggressively going after *any* error or inaccuracy in citizenship applications, NO MATTER HOW OLD OR IMMATERIAL they may be. Even trivial errors like misspelling an address are being treated as a pretext for revocation.

        The offenses in question were subject of a plea bargain wherein he kept his nose clean and the record was expunged. Had he answered "no" to the criminal-record questions in applying for citizenship (accurately in view of the expungement), they could (and evidence indicates they would) revoke his citizenship on that basis alone.

        This is a reign of terror by explicit policy with no sense of proportion, compassion, mercy, or even plain common sense.

        Anon because I live in Trumpland...

      6. Stu Mac

        You are on the money!

        No immigration should occur which does not benefit the American working classes. It's that simple.

      7. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        He's not actually being detained related to receiving stolen goods 25 years ago, nor his DUI 10 years ago, nor his acquittal on domestic violence charges more recently. He's being detained due to some quite serious child abuse allegations. Now they are just allegations, and of course he should benefit from due process rather than be deported, but to characterize this case as one in which ICE are cracking down on people who got into a couple of incidents when they were kids is misleading.

    2. Lysenko

      I'm no Trumpian or Brexiteer, but:

      The US has benefited immeasurably from immigration.

      The USA benefited immeasurably (for a while) from slavery and also from expropriating resources by progressive colonisation/expansion and invading half of Mexico. Just because something was economically beneficial in the past is no justification in itself for perpetuating it into the future.

      Plundering the skills base of the developing world (as the UK also does, particularly in the healthcare field) under the fig leaf of "But they WANT to come here!!" is at least morally questionable, particularly when it is being orchestrated as a thinly disguised people trafficking operation by corporations that are concerned with importing cheaper labour to inflate profits rather than any benefit to society or the migrants or the donor countries.

      1. macjules Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        +1

        The UK, and I daresay all of 'Western' Europe, are certainly just as bad at plundering IT talent from lesser countries including just about all of the former Eastern Bloc nations. While we may not, at least at the moment, have a form that takes several days to complete we have started to see major crackdowns on 'soft' targets.

        Kettle .. Pot .. etc.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          An 85-page application form

          "While we may not, at least at the moment, have a form that takes several days to complete"

          EU citizens in UK could face 'deliberate hostility' policy after Brexit

          Nicolas Hatton, the French founder of the3million, a grassroots group campaigning for EU rights, said the PR process was causing huge stress and anxiety among EU citizens.

          The 85-page application form requires huge files of documentation including P60s for five years, historic utility bills and a diary of all occasions an individual has left the country since they settled in the UK.

          1. anothercynic Silver badge

            Re: An 85-page application form

            EU citizens in UK could face 'deliberate hostility' policy after Brexit

            Could? COULD?? They already *do*. The Home Office is extremely hostile when it comes to applications. It's embarrassing when this comes up at a dinner where transplanted continental Europeans are present.

            It doesn't stop at EU citizens. They go after *anyone* these days. See the news coverage about Paulette Wilson (Jamaican and long-term UK resident) and Shane Ridge (UK-born).

            Then there are the extremely hostile letters that those applying for UK citizenship got during the application process. If anything, get an immigration lawyer to deal with this crap, the hostility ends with them and you only get the cold facts and figures.

      2. enormous c word

        I did vote Brexit for exactly this reason - the NHS is propped up by poorly paid immigrants working as cleaners, nurses, anaesthetists, doctors etc all at huge cost to their country of birth who probably funded their education and whose general population is now in dire need of their services.

        I'm in awe of those who volunteer (Medecine Sans Frontier etc) to provide medical support in countries where the NHS have swept up all the local talent - but this isnt really the answer.

        Globalisation just means that the brightest and best in a deprived area leave for a brighter future elsewhere, leaving the rest behind and compounding the problems.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          "the NHS is propped up by poorly paid immigrants working as cleaners, nurses, anaesthetists, doctors etc all at huge cost to their country of birth who probably funded their education and whose general population is now in dire need of their services."

          What utter nonsense!

          So you are for serfdom then?

          I'd say you are making it up, and just don't like foreigners.

          You think immigrant nurses get a lot lower pay than native ones? I doubt that.

          Thanks to Brexit NHS is on it's knees and can't find the staff it needs. Perhaps you should volunteer?

          1. Bob. Hitchen

            Basic problem in the NHS is too many patients which uncontrolled immigration caused. The other aspect is they increase doctors and nurses but vastly reduce beds - go figure!

            1. Dan 55 Silver badge

              But then again the UK pays less as a percentage of GDP into the NHS than other comparable countries do in their health services. Happy to allow immigration to improve the economy, not happy to fund services. Go figure!

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      The US has benefited immeasurably from immigration

      Though they did screw up in 1904 when they let in Friedrich and Elisabeth Trump and then she had an anchor baby.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The US has benefited immeasurably from immigration

      I am going to be the devil's advocate here and piss off some people, but what he is doing is good thing at the current stage of USA development.

      There is a KEY WORD in the above statement has.

      If you look at the US Labour statistics, there has been no REAL job's growth since 2006. Just read them very carefully and do some extra math based on job type. Real jobs are in free-fall on par with the great depression. The growth in "employment" (quotes needed) is from gig economy. People joining the race to the bottom. The Gig economy is sucking the last drop of blood from the underclass and keeping it "where it belongs" - in the underclass place.

      So where does this put things with immigration. There is no such thing as "land of opportunity" any more. You cannot come from a German village, borrow one dollar from your cousin (also called Trump) and become a real estate magnate whose grandson will become a president. Instead of that, coming on a golden lottery ticket you will drop from one gig job to an even nastier gig job until you are a ready-packed meal for the radicalizator du jour. After that you end up mowing some cyclists on a cycling lane in New York. Granted, both cases are at the extreme spectrum of "then" and "now", but IMHO they illustrate the point in history where we stand.

      USA is not the only one in this. The Workforce Mobility, Gig Economy and Zero Hours mantras are doing this EVERYWHERE.

      In this climate, immigration without the appropriate social safety nets and putting a big minimum threshold to ensure that a large portion of the migrants succeed is not just counterproductive. It is a recipe for societal disaster.

      Now, all of this has nothing to do with Trump's issues with immigration. It however coincides with them.

    5. Stu Mac

      There is immigration and immigration....

    6. Eduard Coli

      Immigration is not H1B

      H1B are not immigrants.

      They are temporary workers usually with made up credentials willing to work for less playing at doing a similar job. Execs like them as they help meet goals for fat bonuses.

  2. mark 58

    "In-person interviews for permanent residents used to be rare, now pretty much everyone gets one," said Finkelman......

    Incorrect - Every applicant for a "green card" must attend an in person interview with an immigration officer before it is approved. The immigration process involves a number of steps and the interview is the final step before permanent residence is granted. This was actually the one and only time I spoke with an official during my application, and in 20yrs have not needed to speak to another one.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      I had my interview last week, but I abandoned my employment-based application in favour of one sponsored by my naturalised wife; if you're trying to detect phoney marriages then even a cursory interview is a better idea than no interview at all.

      Given that we turned up with all the proper paperwork and good documentary evidence of intertwined finances, living arrangements, etc, in the event it was mostly trivia questions about each other, amicably put. Then a few minutes on British television while the interviewing agent processed his paperwork. A very relaxed environment.

      Having watched my field office's processing dates slowly slip over the year since I filed, I can easily believe that people are being moved around or are spending more time on things than they were: the interview was a month later than my lawyer's most pessimistic estimate at the time of filing, and four months later than her most optimistic. Which sadly means absolutely no way I can be a citizen in time for the 2020 election — at the theoretical speediest a green card by marriage takes three years to convert to citizenship, which is already too late, and there are two further processing queues to proceed through that I dare imagine will add further delay.

      Ironically, the main benefit of becoming a citizen of the United States would be that we could move back to Europe. Otherwise we'll find ourselves in a spooky perpetual twilight where access to the US, which is now her only country of citizenship, is in theory always available to me, but subject to the same arbitrary bureaucracy but without the advantage of presence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        but I abandoned my employment-based application in favour of one sponsored by my naturalised wife;

        Really? Have you actually read the "cheetsheet" of what the interviewer expects?

        One of the reasons why I never bother considering a relocation to the USA is that according to the USA dept of Xenophobia, Immigration my marriage to my wife is phony:

        1. We do not have 5 pictures from the marriage ceremony (only one - the official one, the camera used to take the rest broke).

        2. After 27 years together and with two children we do not have any joint bank accounts or credit cards. I have no access to her finances, she has no access to mine.

        3. Not a single piece of real estate or any item of value we own has a joint title deed.

        4. I cannot answer half of the "intimate" questions on "her" cosmetics the idiots tend to ask as I have long lost the plot on what is the next pile of crap marked Ives Rocher coming through the door.

        So according to USA immigration, our marriage is SHAM. My take on it, they can go enjoy their evangelibanic view of the world, I will go and enjoy living in a "sham" marriage.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          One of the reasons why I never bother considering a relocation to the USA is that according to the USA dept of Xenophobia, Immigration my marriage to my wife is phony:

          As we explained yesterday Mr President - this doesn't apply to you.

        2. mark 58

          This is not even slightly correct - I was not asked for anything like this. Apart from the proper paperwork I took nothing to the interview except my wife, who is American by birth. The basic law is that you have to be married for 3yrs, or longer, for the green card to remain valid. If you are granted the green card before then it is conditional. These questions are only asked if the officer feels you have a marriage of convenience.

          Overall the immigration process is very straight forward if you have a legitimate claim to the status you are requesting.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Overall the immigration process is very straight forward if you have a legitimate claim to the status you are requesting.

            I suggest you read the requirements for M2 and L2 visas. The Department of Xenophobia and You Shall Do It In The Missionary Position Immigration is sort-a all right regarding green cards with American spouses. They try not to aggravate citizens too much as those complain to congresscritters, sue and do other things which waste a lot of dept time. They unleash their complete creativity when dealing with immigrant applicant dependents. This includes, but is not limited to:

            1. A Talebanic fatwa mandating that your wife is to be a housewife for 5 years if you are on all visas except M and L.

            2. Requirements like pictures from your wedding even if it was 20+ years ago. Pictures must demonstrate that it was performed in a formal ceremony and be acceptable to an immigration official who is to determine if your wedding was in good taste or not. There should be at least 5 high quality pictures attached to the submission. NO I AM NOT JOKING - read the rules.

            3. In the case of visas allowing dependent to work - detailed interview where you are interviewed on your wife's habits and she on yours to determine that you are not in a sham marriage because oh my god, that visa status actually allows her to work. That should be sabotaged by any and all means necessary.

            4...

            5...

            6...

            Oh feck it, easier just go elsewhere to a more civilized and more pleasant place.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        A very relaxed environment.

        I'm assuming you passed the real test when the agent saw your skin colour.

        The real purpose of interviews is to allow the agent (guided by their superiors) to filter applicants without the embarrasing paper trail of an SQL statement checking for 'al-' at the start up a surname.

        Living in LA I was regularly stopped on the highway at immigration checks for paperwork - but by simply glancing through the window they were able to wave my white British face on without needing to see my H1-B - I assume they have some form of x-ray vision

        1. John Styles

          On holiday in New Mexico we were stopped at a check-point... it went something like this

          'I'm sure you're American citizens'

          'No, we're here on vacation, we're from England'

          He looks confused.

          'In that case can I see your....[pauses to think of word]'

          'Passport'

          'Yes, that's it!'

          We hand them over

          'Have a nice day'

          'Thanks, and you'

          and off we went

    2. Dropper

      In-Person interviews

      Actually when my conditional status was converted to permanent status, it was done without an interview.

      The only "interview" I had - from the initial application in England to receiving my permanent status - was at the counter at the US Embassy after the doctor examination (all applicants have chest scans for TB and an AIDs test to make sure you're not emigrating for medical reasons). I handed over my supporting documentation to prove my sponsor (wife) could afford to support me in the event I couldn't get a job and that was it. The interview consisted of a few yes/no answers regarding the financial documents and tax returns.

      When it came time to remove the conditional status from my residency, the documentation I used to support the fact I was in a real marriage was sufficient to bypass the interview process. It's hard to say a person isn't in a real marriage when they have joint bank accounts, credit card accounts, loans, mortgages, utility bills, tax returns and affidavits from friends of the family. That doesn't mean people aren't in real marriages if they don't have all those things, but when you do it's better proof than guessing what colour your wife's toothbrush is and what her favourite fast food might be.

      1. ThomH Silver badge

        Re: In-Person interviews

        Even within the United States, where I have been for half a decade, health tests were necessary.

        That being said, they still have TB here surprisingly often. A friend of mine qualified as a teacher over in California, and as part of taking your first job they send everybody for a tuberculosis test. So they all sit in an office together for a few of hours or so while wheels grind. Good news: she didn't have TB. Bad news: she'd just been required to sit in a room for a few hours with at least three people who did...

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: In-Person interviews

          That being said, they still have TB here surprisingly often.

          In the developed world TB has become an indicator of poor housing, poverty and/or destitution.

      2. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: In-Person interviews

        @Dropper, some nations are more favoured than others when it comes to approvals and 'nods' to approve... Back when I needed a visa to the US (because the visa waiver process would not have been sufficient for what I was doing), being British helped immeasurably. Citizens of other countries applying for the same in the same consular office were not so lucky.

    3. Gene Cash Silver badge

      > must attend an in person interview

      Nope, I've known several folks that have gotten a green card without any personal contact.

      In one case, an interview would have helped, because he could have better explained some of the special achievements/merits for which he was being hired. They apparently approved him without understanding half of what he did.

    4. Raj

      Since when ? I got my employment based GC in the late 2000s (2008 I think), and all I had was biometrics. No interview. Only the citizenship naturalization process had one as standard.

    5. anothercynic Silver badge

      Mark 58 is right...

      ... Part of the furriner-to-green-card and green-card-to-citizen process is an interview (or in some cases, more than one).

      I assume that in most cases, it's been a conversation that doesn't come across as an interview (and possibly wasn't described as such), but the notes coming out of that have been used to approve/reject applications. Now, I can imagine that the officials are being a lot more... direct/confrontational/rigid in what they're asking, how they're asking it, and how the whole process works. Of course, being the right skin colour and being the right nationality helps (or being *married* to the right nationality)...

      Green cards used to be easy. They're not anymore. If your paperwork is not perfectly in order, expect to be told to FOAD.

  3. ratfox Silver badge
    Angel

    i am wondering about unintended consequences

    Countries often consider immigration as a source of cheap labor for doing jobs that the current citizens don't want to do.

    If a country only lets in highly-educated immigrants, won't the locals become the second-class people who do all the crappy jobs and are looked down upon by the recent arrivals?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

      Or, they simply move the jobs overseas.

      See IBM as a current example.

      1. herman Silver badge

        Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

        Indian Business Machines? Why, they are based in India. What is your problem?

    2. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

      In America the size of the country allows everybody to find somebody conveniently distant from them to look down upon if they desire.

      Those who live on the coast look down on the centre-state dwellers as unsophisticated and inflexible. Those who live in the middle deride the coast people as superficial and unprincipled. The northerners think the southerners to be time wasting racist yahoos, the southerners think the northeners to be uptight and possessed of a misplaced superiority complex.

      Etc. Etc.

      1. garetht t

        Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

        >In America the size of the country allows everybody to find somebody conveniently distant from them to look down upon if they desire.

        As opposed to the comparatively tiny UK, where Northerners, Southerners, the Welsh, the Scots, and bless em, lil Norn and Southern Ireland all live in a warm ambrosia of blissful harmony.

        Size, as they say, has nothing to do with it. Put three people on a desert island and two of them will club the other to death for chewing too loud. Then the remaining two will fuck each other to death.

        1. Shades

          Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

          "Then the remaining two will fuck each other to death."

          Where do I sign up?

        2. ThomH Silver badge

          Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

          >> >In America the size of the country allows everybody to find somebody conveniently distant from them to look down upon if they desire.

          >

          > As opposed to the comparatively tiny UK, where Northerners, Southerners, the Welsh, the Scots, and bless em, lil Norn and Southern Ireland all live in a warm ambrosia of blissful harmony.

          The difference is the distance. A northerner can not only decide that everybody from a southern state is clinging to a bible and/or a gun, but also quite possibly never actually meet one.

          I don't recall living anywhere in the UK where I did not meet at least one northerner, southerner, Welshman, Scotsman, etc. I think that's partly why the culture splits tend to be along class and wealth lines more than geographic ones.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

            "I think that's partly why the culture splits tend to be along class and wealth lines more than geographic ones."

            If only southerners didn't persist with that C18th affectation of drawling out the letter a in words such as bath or grass.

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

              I'm still trying to explain to them that there are singular and plural versions of 'you' and 'yours' as well as formal and informal ones - I don't know how they manage to understand literature

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: i am wondering about unintended consequences

      Except that isn't what will really happen.

      What will happen is just an extension of the status quo: the illegals go underground like they always have and businesses continue to hire them because they can abuse them, just like they always have.

      Employment abuse is THE point where I say immigrants should get and stay as legit as possible to protect themselves from business owners.

  4. ForthIsNotDead
    Coffee/keyboard

    A better life in the *States*?

    I don't think so.

    Maybe if you come from from Syria or Yemen, yes. Otherwise, (to quote Trump) it's a shit-hole of a place.

    Land of the free my arse.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: A better life in the *States*?

      America has become the nicest 3rd world police state in history!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A better life in the *States*?

      You should go back to India then.

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: A better life in the *States*?

      it's a shit-hole of a place.

      Inside Washington - maybe.

      On the west coast I get to work in a group with people from 20 nationalities who don't vote to 'take back control'. With bosses who are world class technical experts - not chinless wonders who happened to go to the right school. We have access to VC money, contacts and partnerships unimaginable in the UK.

      The scenery is nicer than anywhere except bits of the Dales and I get to live on the ocean - proper ocean not day trip to Blackpool.

      It doesn't hurt to get paid 4-5x what I was paid in the UK - my fault for doing technical work in the north instead of working for a bank in London. And I work for a tiny company nobody has heard of, go to Amazon/Google/Msft and programmers make what UK bankers make.

      ps. anything to do with INS / TSA is shit !

  5. elip

    Go Trump Go.

    Sure he's a fuck-up, and we all despise almost everything he stands for, but Trump is correct on the H1B issue.

    Here I am, my final week at my current gig, training my India-residing "replacements". I am on a technical team of 25, all living in the US, as the only "American". I put American in quotes, as I'm also an immigrant turned US citizen! :-) For what it's worth, *all* of my US-residing Indian colleagues, despise the H1B system, its abuses, and the generally shitty-quality H1B colleagues which we're then forced to train, and re-train, and re-train, and re-train. We just taught the 'ls' command to one of our Indian Senior DBAs, with "15 years of Oracle experience on UNIX-like systems". Yep.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      Re: Go Trump Go.

      That just proves that there are abuses of the system. For Trump to be right you need to establish that the abuses outweigh the benefits, not merely that they exist. I guarantee you that there will be abuse of absolutely any system.

      Sadly, since politicians with different views aren't presently willing even to talk to one another, it's unlikely that such a calculation will be made. Looking principled on TV in front of your party colours is very important.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Go Trump Go.

        that the system was being abused by big corporations to depress wages and replace American workers with lower-paid overseas employees.

        The problem is the tax code. It's more profitable for a corporation to hire in "temps" under the H-1B then to hire a "local". No benefits for H-1B's, no union rules or laws getting in the way.

    2. herman Silver badge

      Re: Go Trump Go.

      Silly you. You should have taught him the Remark command 'rm'.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Go Trump Go.

        "You should have taught him the Remark command 'rm'"

        Along with the safety arguments -rf *

  6. Daedalus Silver badge

    Short-sightedness

    Anyone alive in Sept. 2001 could read the writing on the wall if they wanted to. I started the process and became a citizen in 2004. Fortunately the whole thing had been streamlined since I got my green card in the 80's.

    These "unfortunates" who have been putting it off for decades are reaping the harvest of their indolence.

  7. RobertLongshaft

    More anti trump propaganda, do you get $100 an article from George Soros for all anti Trump stories?

    1. Shades

      Bingo!

      Why did you stop? I just need Emails, Hillary, and Fake News for a line!

      1. Old Coot

        Re: Bingo!

        And for some closing laughs, remind them how Hillary's foreign-policy achievement was the destruction of Libya and all its attendant horrors. (That is fake, isn't it?)

        It's not the fake news that gets you; it's the real news that you never hear about.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      do you get $100 an article from George Soros

      Up to now the Register has been mercifully free of nutcases accusing anybody who disagrees with them of being in the pay of Soros/Putin/Blofeld.

      I hope it isn't creeping in because some websites are being ruined by it.

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      WTF?

      That

      Soros bloke is a right tight ass

      I've written dozens of anti-trump things and hes never paid me once...

      Meanwhile back on the US visa thing.....

    4. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: RobertLongshaft

      "More anti trump propaganda"

      Except for the parts where we said H-1B pushes down wages and pushes out American workers?

      C.

      1. Dallasite

        Re: RobertLongshaft

        "Except for the parts where we said H-1B pushes down wages and pushes out American workers?"

        And, by artificially floowing the labor market with more people, those US workers displaced now have to compete with the rest of US citizens for the remaining jobs. Which depresses wages across the board.

    5. Blank Reg

      The reason for so many anti-trump articles is that they are so easy to write. All you need to do is report on what he says and does.

  8. jonfr

    This is how countries get poor

    This is going to be taught in history as the path the U.S took when the country collapsed and got really poor and fell from global power. This is going to be awful for the U.S and Europe (indirectly).

    Europe better prepare for some hard time. I suspect Russia is going to use this time to move its border more than it already has done.

    1. Old Coot

      Re: This is how countries get poor

      Russia? You mean the move into Crimea? At that rate, they should be in the UK in 2525 or so.

      Agree about the collapse of the U.S., but is this outsource-everything trend a cause or a symptom?

      1. jonfr

        Re: This is how countries get poor

        The fact is that St. Petersburg is just a ocean a way from UK coast. Russia would have to occupy Denmark and parts of Sweden in order to reach the UK directly. But that is not going to be a major problem in the short term (first few months). Such occupation is going to be a major issue in the long term. Neither Danes or the Swedes would be happy about being occupied by Russians invaders.

        Kaliningrad is the most closest part of Russia to UK and even closer to Denmark and Sweden.

  9. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Re: Sorry Reality I'd Harsh

      Briansa - thats ridiculous!!

      Much as I abhor TCS, HCL, etc bringing people over to do UK work on UK contracts its a tiny proportion of the workforce. Example, my last contract where I dealt with one of these, UK office, around 60 HCL staff, 50% British, TUPE'd over when HCL won the contract, and a few of those Key Men - contract would flounder without them. HCL kept hold of them.

      50% were Indian visa workers and some of them were great, awesome people. The other 50% were variable and the bottom half were disappeared back home quite quickly.

      Whats ridiculous is to think that India doesn't provide jobs for people. In addition to those 60 HCL people working in the UK there were 100+ working back in India (on a very good Indian salary) and very few of the 60 UK jobs couldn't have been done from India. They were just hanging onto their UK talent and trying to treat their customer better by having staff on-site. None of their staff were particularly happy with HCL management though.

      I really don't like out-sourcing / off-shoring. Not because there are foreigners involved. Because IT is one of your differentiators. You do your IT well you are better, so do it yourself. Outsourcing just lowers your IT to the common denominator.

      Anyway - the party is not over in India. Barely starting. Same as UK. Most Indians are nice people, so are most Americans, and most of my fellow Brits are. Can't we just all get along?

    2. Raj

      Re: Sorry Reality I'd Harsh

      You’re assuming India forced the US hand in this . The reality is that the US and even UK corporations loved and continue to love outsourcing . Indian companies didn’t make the laws and the loopholes . The US did . And left it open for 20+ years . But hey it sounds cathartic to take it on the other guy right ?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Government in actually enforcing the law SHOCKER.

  11. Mike Shepherd
    Meh

    Norway

    Most disturbing is the belief that anyone from Norway would be stupid enough to move there.

    1. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: Norway

      Certainly plenty of people would like to live in a country where everything is taken care of. On the other hand I've met emigrants to Norway who know about the downside, the restrictions and the high taxes. There is always going to be a section of society, however small, that wouldn't object to trading a riskier lifestyle for the freedom to blow your nose without official permission, or to buy what you like, where you like, when you like.

      Me I just got sick of rain and waiting in draughty corridors.

  12. martinusher Silver badge

    H1B visas are being abused

    H1B visas are being abused -- companies like SCE have used them to displace local IT workers with low cost Indian imports. There's obviously some legal tweaking going on because in theory labor certification rules prevent you from bringing in labor to either displace or undercut US workers but it seems to be merely an inconvenience to get around than a sticking point. The visas themselves seem to be subcontracted by a handful of Indian companies which also starves other companies of visas for any talent they might like to import.

    Green Card applications are interviewed face to face. Getting a Green Card is probably the most difficult process an aspiring immigrant has to pass. Once you've got one then citizenship is more or less automatic after the 5 year wait period (3 for a marriage) provided you've not committed any crimes, paid your taxes and generally behaved yourself.

    Incidentally, I know a bit about the system since I came to the US on an H1, changed status to a Green Card and eventually became a US citizen. (My wife finally naturalized a week ago and Trump or no Trump the process hasn't changed from when I did it 15 years ago; if anything its become easier because the USCIS has opened an office near to where we live. The only noticeable change in USCIS policy is that they seem to be going after people for trivial reasons, decades old transgressions and the like. One advantage to being a citizen is that you're finally free of them.)

  13. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Immigration

    Blowhard's crack down on the immigration shenanigans was caused by the abuse of the immigration laws (H-1B visas) and other issues that have angered many especially those who have been victimized.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Wrath Of America First?

    A San Francisco byline in the heading is a pretty good clue that an article is a puerile political hit piece.

  15. Briansa

    Reality is Harsh. Milking the Cow is Over

    The party is over India. You cannot export your people anymore to the USA. Now you have to provide jobs to them in their native India. Your government already failed them for years if not decades. They are honestly subpar anyway, from experience. I am not even a Trumpster.

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Reality is Harsh. Milking the Cow is Over

      They are honestly subpar anyway

      I suppose that's why the CEOs of Google and Microsoft are both Indian immigrants.

      1. Dallasite

        Re: Reality is Harsh. Milking the Cow is Over

        https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/over-80-per-cent-engineering-graduates-in-india-unemployable-study/articleshow/50703662.cms

        Exception proves the rule?

  16. Ubermik

    How is requiring that migrant workers are legal and that companies employing them should operate within the law "WRATH" exactly?

  17. anothercynic Silver badge

    To be fair...

    ... It is about time that H1-B visas are controlled more strictly and that they are followed up on, especially considering past coverage on El Reg about court cases where the p*** was taken by some... *ahem* entrepreneurial souls from the largest democracy on the planet...

    If you have a visa system, apply the rules consistently and properly, all the time, regardless of nationality. However, this may unfairly affect those who have taken advantage of the H1-B pathway in the past because it was 'easy'.

  18. strum Silver badge

    Sad that so many people see other people as problems, rather than solutions.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Many people ARE problems and bring no solutions.

  19. Sir Loin Of Beef

    Worse is the fact that applying for US citizenship is setup as if to discourage people from applying. Americans who cheer when a 40 year green card holder gets the boot do not understand how difficult it is to become a citizen.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the most part...

    ...Green cards allow companies to hire lower cost employees while denying these jobs to U.S. citizens. It's a dirty business that corporate America uses to exploit Green card holders while lowering the standard of living in the U.S. for the populace.

  21. Tim Brummer

    Great

    It's about time. Hopefully those interviews will weed out the fake marriages. I had one Chinese woman offer me $20,000 to "marry" her. And the fake asylum claims, another Chinese woman claimed to be a persecuted Falun Gong member, when in reality she loathed Falun Gong.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Green Card Question

    Not sure if the 'official' name of the green card is permanent residency or not; but if there was a time limit of how long you can be here without declaring that you wanted to be a citizen, would this take care of some of these issues?

    Something like you have an expiration date on your green card, and after 2 or 3 times of renewing it (for XX # of years each time), you either start the process of becoming a citizen or you go back to your original country?

    That doctor for instance, came here when he was 5. So he has been here his whole life without becoming a citizen? Holding out hope that one day he might return to the country of his birth?

    1. martinusher Silver badge

      Re: Green Card Question

      Problems arise when you have criminal convictions. It doesn't matter how trivial they are or how long ago they happened. If you've got a Green Card and have a skeleton in your closet then its tempting to just lie low and not face the bureaucracy again. If you do you run the risk of being asked awkward questions, questions you have to answer truthfully because lying to a Federal official will get you into even deeper crap. (If you think you're in danger of running foul of them then you pay a specialist attorney -- they not only know what strings to pull but who to steer you to in the various offices.)

      Green Cards only got expiration dates relatively recently. If you've got one that expires then you have to renew it at a cost of $500 or so. My wife had one of the last of the original ones, she used it for decades until she started getting hassled about it at (some) ports of entry. The hassling was gentle, more encouragement to apply for citizenship than anything else, because the USCIS really isn't interested in people who have been here for decades who aren't criminals, they want them off the books. (So the last time my wife used her Green Card to get back into the country elicited a rather enthusiastic "All Right!!!" from the agent -- she'd passed her interview for citizenship and was just waiting to be sworn in.....those people behind the desk are actually human, strange as it may seem.)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019