Trump making things difficult for U.S. businesses by Timothy Bakken


Without changing existing law, Trump and the CIS are adding bureaucratic obstacles to the employment-based immigration process designed to discourage U.S. businesses from hiring foreign workers. It’s ironic that Trump and many Republicans who pretend to support U.S. business and economic efficiency would impose more and more red-tape bureaucratic hurdles and delays to the legal immigration process. Click here to read the full article. 

Timothy R. Bakken

International Tech Students Avoiding U.S. Due to Harsh Immigration Rules by Timothy Bakken

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The Trump Administration has been actively deterring international students from studying in the United States. In fact, in 2017 alone, the number of international students overall dropped by 4%, and even more shocking, the number of Indian students enrolled in computer science and engineering at the graduate level dropped by 21%. The Trump administration's anti-immigration rhetoric and policies are making the U.S. less attractive worldwide, and as a result, U.S. universities, companies, and even the U.S. economy will all feel the negative impact if the trend continues. Read more here

Most Americans Don’t Want A Wall by Timothy Bakken


As the debate over immigration continues, Trump is finally ready to make a concession: allow a path to citizenship for DREAMers. But of course, this compromise is too good to be true. There are three other components that run exactly in line with Trump's anti-immigration agenda including building a wall on the Mexico border, "banning US citizens from sponsoring their adult children, parents, and siblings for green cards", and calling a end to the diversity lottery. In fact these other components will have a much larger impact than allowing the DREAMers a path to citizenship, and immigration is expected to drop by at least 40% if Trump's agenda ever makes it through the Senate. Interestingly enough, after examining a variety of polls from different political leanings, it is universally acknowledged that the vast majority of Americans support the DREAM Act and oppose building a wall. Trump is yet again ignoring the voice of not only Americans, but even his own political party, and it is unlikely that the legislation will make it through Senate, as there will be serious push back. Read the full article here

It’s “Family-Based” immigration, not “Chain Migration” by Timothy Bakken


Trump and anti-immigrant zealots in the GOP love to confuse the immigration debate by labelling lawful family-based immigration laws and procedures with the ominous-sounding pejorative of “chain migration”.  Don’t fall for it!  The bottom line is that the law allows certain, not all, individuals who are U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to petition for family members in the name of family reunification. This is a good thing. Read The New York Times' take here

Timothy R. Bakken

Inefficient and Wrong-Headed Work Visa Crackdown by Timothy Bakken


This article describes what I am seeing in my direct experience in the world of U.S. business immigration. The CIS is issuing excessive requests for additional evidence even where an applicant is seeking an extension of an existing status with no changes in the underlying job duties, job location, or conditions of employment. Granted, the law properly requires petitioning companies and applicants to establish eligibility for the requested status. But, the current administration has issued guidelines that encourage CIS officers to demand more and more evidence of obvious facts (and give more leeway to deny petitions). One particularly egregious and comical example from my own practice: The CIS asked my client, a huge, well-known airline, to prove it was an existing business as part of its H-1B petition for a financial analyst. The petition was approved but only after unnecessary expense and time spent proving facts that are common knowledge to any living, breathing person. These new interpretations of existing law and regulations are inefficient and wasteful and contradict any professed goal of streamlining government bureaucracy. And, to be clear, I wholeheartedly support a crackdown on unscrupulous companies that abuse the H-1B program or any visa program. The current administration’s new rules and unreasonable interpretations of existing laws and regulations do not effectively address visa fraud because they treat law-abiding companies with long histories of closely following immigration law the same as companies that abuse the system.

Timothy R. Bakken