People in Colorado with family members waiting for green cards or who are themselves waiting for employment-based permanent residency may be troubled by reports of immigration legislation backed by President Donald Trump. The Trump administration is reportedly preparing to introduce a bill into Congress that will reflect Trump's expressed goals of ending the family-based and employment-based routes to permanent residence in favor of replacing them with a points-based system. In particular, reports indicate that the existing backlog of 4 million applications for green cards will be wiped out.
As one of many immigrants in Colorado, you may have entered the United States after weeks or months of preparation, or you may have arrived here under more urgent circumstances. The reasons you had for emigrating from another country of origin may have significant impact on your overall immigration experience.
There are about 34 million people who live in Colorado and throughout the United States as legal immigrants. Some have temporary visas that allow them to work or study in the country while others have permanent legal status. Individuals may enter the country if they have family members who are willing to sponsor them. However, proposed changes to the immigration system would put a greater emphasis on the characteristics of the person looking to enter the country.
You have hopes and dreams about someday becoming a U.S. citizen. However, you understand it's a process, and when you married your spouse, you were happy that you could apply for a marriage-based visa and come to Colorado. Now, you must appear at a marriage interview and you're feeling nervous. That's understandable since your interviewers can greatly influence your ability (or inability) to stay in the United States.
It's getting harder for people from other nations to secure employment in California and the rest of the country due to factors like an improving economy and Presidential executive orders. More than 200,000 individuals applied for H1-B skilled worker visas in 2019; only 85,000 such visas will be issued. The H1-B lottery was used to select 42% of applicants, but those applicants have more to do before their visas are approved.
Employers in California and around the country are likely pleased to see the economy booming. However, finding workers to fill low-skilled jobs is becoming increasingly difficult. President Trump has repeatedly said that even legal immigration is a threat to American jobs, but pleas from the business sector and the lowest unemployment level in decades seems to have prompted him to soften his position on the issue. According to media reports, Trump is planning to allow U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to issue an additional 30,000 H-2B visas to foreign seasonal workers.
Non-U.S. citizens face an uncertain future in this country right now. Even permanent residents may find themselves questioning their immigration status. All of this uncertainty leaves individuals susceptible to scam artists who take advantage of their trepidation.
Immigrant organizations in California and around the country are concerned about a presidential memorandum issued on April 22 that orders the Secretary of State to open talks with countries that have visa overstay rates of 10% or more. The vast majority of the countries affected are African. The organizations question the validity of the memorandum because it relies on data from Department of Homeland Security entry and exit reports to calculate overstay rates.