President Trump, while coming back on Friday to Washington from a trip to the Mexican border designed to rally his base on immigration control, released the following tweet:
H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2019
In addition to being a distressing reversal of his Hire American announcements, the president displayed his detailed knowledge of the program by:
- Mis-stating the title of this class of nearly one million foreign workers taking jobs from Americans; it is usually expressed H-1B; and
- More importantly, not understanding that there is a very clear path to citizenship followed by perhaps tens of thousands of former H-1B aliens every year; it is through securing a green card and then, later, applying for naturalization.
One wonders who in the administration will have the clean-up task, similar to that of the recent role of National Security Adviser John Bolton, who had to explain to our long-time, hard-fighting allies, the Kurds, and other friends in the Middle East that we really are not leaving Syria anytime soon.
Meanwhile, maybe the White House should set up a meeting between the U.S. tech workers who have been hurt so badly by the H-1B program and either the president or his aide, Stephen Miller. Miller, at least knows how many U.S. tech workers have lost jobs because of the omnipresence in the IT industry of the H-1B workers. The president, sad to say, may not know that.
The White House is not good with nuances. For example, DACAs and H-1Bs may appear to be similar groups, as both include foreign workers, and many of them are from underdeveloped countries; DACAs, however, have no path to permanent legal status, much less citizenship. H-1Bs have that path open to them, but the process often takes many, many years.
The White House, similarly, is not good with consistency. Issuing the tweet as he returned from demanding money for the Wall is the sort of irony that the president probably should not create.