Cracking down on highly skilled immigrants seeking specialized jobs in the U.S., the Trump administration makes life difficult for U.S. hospital and universities.
Donald Trump's often-incoherent anti-immigration agenda is making it harder for the celebrated Mayo Clinic research center to hire world-class doctors to treat its patients. And the Mayo Clinic is not alone, as universities and IT providers scramble to secure H-1B work visas for highly trained prospective employees, the types of applicants who have been welcomed into the United States for decades.
But under the Trump administration, employers are reporting a new harassing environment where government bureaucrats are lacing the visa application process with crippling red tape, and seem determined to make it as onerous as possible.
“I’ve not seen this much anxiety in the time I’ve been doing this,” Chris Wendt, the veteran immigration attorney at the Mayo Clinic recently told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "What’s going to happen next?"
In April, Trump signed the Buy American and Hire American executive order, and urged employers to make sure visas go only to the highest-paid, most skilled foreign workers. The H-1B work visas program generally taps foreigners with at least four-year degrees for specialized jobs, especially in IT, science, and engineering, according to the Star-Tribune. In other words, the work visas are being used precisely as they were designed.
Nonetheless, the U.S. Citizenship and Application Services, which oversees the work visas program, has been cracking down in numerous ways that are making it increasingly difficult for organizations like the Mayo Clinic, which employs more than 60,000 people, to staff up their operations.
One local immigration attorney told the newspaper that for an H-1B application for another employer, the USCIS wanted more proof that a world-famous apparel company actually exists.
"They are throwing the book at you to discourage and delay your H-1B applications," the attorney said. "There’s an ideological crusade going on against H-1Bs. The goal is to wear down employers in a war of attrition."
H-1B visas are good for three years and then are usually re-issued for another three years.
Trump's utterly disjointed take on immigration was highlighted over the weekend when, in response to a massive terror attack at a mosque in Egypt, Trump tweeted how America needed to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico to keep people out.
Now, thanks to his bigoted policies, U.S. institutions are suffering — and the most talented doctors in the world may start looking elsewhere for employment.