On June 5, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives passed the most recent version of the DREAM Act, which would offer millions of young undocumented individuals in California and elsewhere a pathway to United States citizenship. The bill will now head to the Republican-led Senate, where it is expected to languish.
The steps taken by President Donald Trump to stem the flow of migrants crossing into California and other border states from countries in Central America has grown increasingly aggressive in recent weeks. On May 30 the President said that he would begin imposing tariffs on goods imported from Mexico on June 10 if steps were not taken to stop migrant caravans before they reach the United States, and on May 30 immigration authorities announced plans to limit special protections afforded to unaccompanied migrant children.
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.
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.
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.
California's state sanctuary laws were upheld by a federal appeals court on Apr. 18, in a rejection of a lawsuit filed by the Trump administration. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit said that California's state laws do not unlawfully interfere with federal immigration enforcement. Earlier, the Trump administration sued the state over three laws, including one that prohibits local law enforcement officials from informing federal immigration agencies about the release dates for imprisoned immigrants.
Those who are hoping to immigrate to California from Mexico may be denied a visa if they are deemed to be a potential drain on the United States government. One man was refused a spousal visa because the government believed that he could become a public charge. This was despite the fact that he had a guaranteed job paying him $18 per hour as well as a relative who pledged to provide financial support if necessary.
Many people in California have been following developments regarding the Trump Administration's policy plans to require asylum-seekers from Central America to wait in Mexico for their cases to be processed inside the United States. A federal judge acted on April 8 to block implementation of the order, saying that the Department of Homeland Security was exceeding its authority under immigration law. The judge ordered the plaintiffs who had brought the case, including migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, to enter the United States in the coming two days.
California residents may be interested in hearing how President Donald Trump doubled down on his threat to close the United States' border with Mexico. Through tweets, he reiterated his thought that fixing the immigration laws would be easy and placed blame for what he considered "stupid immigration laws" on Democrats.
Companies in California and across the country, especially in the tech sector, are working to adjust to a sudden change announced by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). On March 19, less than two weeks before the April 1 deadline for H-1B applications, USCIS declared a new procedure for premium processing of some of these applications. The H-1B process involves companies looking to hire highly skilled international workers. In many cases, the workers involved are recent or soon-to-be graduates of U.S. universities with advanced scientific skills and technical training. Successful H-1B visa applicants are chosen under a lottery process that restricts the number of visas available for qualified workers.