The H1-B visa program allows employers in California and around the country to hire foreign workers to fill positions that require specific skills or scientific knowledge when suitably qualified Americans cannot be found. However, the number of H1-B applications received each year far exceeds the 65,000 visa cap established by the Immigration and Nationality Act. To prevent American companies in emerging sectors from falling behind their international competitors, Congress approved a provision that allows a further 20,000 H1-B visas to be offered each year to foreign individuals who have earned a master's degree or higher from an accredited U.S. university.
Some asylum seekers who hope to cross into California or another U.S. state from Mexico may be stopped at the border. Thousands of Central Americans are waiting in Mexico to come into the United States and seek asylum, but it may be weeks or months before some are allowed to cross. In the meantime, they are vulnerable to dangers on the other side of the border.
California readers may be interested to learn that Americans say immigration is the most important concern facing the nation, according to a new Gallup poll. The survey, which was conducted between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, includes responses collected both before and after the midterm elections.
A federal judge in San Francisco placed a temporary restraining order on the new rules from the Trump administration that refuse asylum to immigrants entering the country illegally. As a migrant caravan started to arrive at the border of Mexico and California, the Center for Constitutional Rights and American Civil Liberties Union convinced the judge to recognize existing law that granted immigrants the right to apply for asylum between ports of entry.
New outlets in California and around the country have devoted a significant amount of coverage in recent weeks to a caravan of migrants that is currently making its way to the United States from Honduras. Members of the caravan have told reporters that they hope to escape desperate poverty and pervasive violence in their home country by claiming asylum once they reach America, but those plans may need to be put on hold in light of new immigration rules announced on Nov. 8 and put into place by a White House proclamation issued by President Trump on Nov. 9.
Politicians in California and around the country have been ramping up the rhetoric as the crucial 2018 midterm elections draw near, and immigration is a hot-button issue that makes voters on both sides of the political aisle sit up and pay attention. President Trump is well aware of this and made immigration a primary focus during his successful 2016 presidential run, and he placed the issue front and center once again on Oct. 30 when media outlets reported that he was mulling ending birthright citizenship in the United States.
A lawsuit has been filed challenging the claimed authority of United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to set H1-B visa time limits arbitrarily. Employers and people in California on H1-B visas might be interested in the specifics of the case.
Some immigrants in California might be concerned about the effect a proposed new change by the Trump administration will have on their ability to access government benefits and still get a green card. The proposal would disqualify some immigrants from becoming permanent residents even if they were eligible for the benefits they received.
LGBTQ rights remain a hot-button topic almost certain to provoke spirited disagreement. Since a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, same-sex marriages must be granted by each state and each state must recognize same-sex marriages formed in other states, such as California, for example. That ruling, however, does not address the issue of same-sex marriages in other countries.
Immigrants in California and around the country could be denied a green card if they have been reliant on certain forms of public assistance. They could also be denied the chance to have a green card renewed if they are already in the country legally. This is according to action taken by the Trump administration. It seeks to update a 1999 rule that applied to immigrants who had used cash benefits.