White House Considering Immigration Crackdown on Countries Whose Nationals Overstay Visas

Monday, April 15, 2019
By Paul Martin

New rules under consideration by the Trump administration would target countries whose nationals often overstay their visas.

By Claire Hansen, Staff Writer 
April 15, 2019

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP and his administration are reportedly weighing new restrictions on legal immigration and considering rules that would target countries whose nationals overstay short-term visitor visas.

The proposals come amid a larger effort by the White House to restrict both legal and illegal immgration, and signal that the Trump administration is continuing to broaden its focus on immigration beyond the southern border.

The rules under consideration would target nationals of countries whose citizens often overstay their visas, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the proposals. Those countries include Nigeria, Chad, Eritrea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Under such rules, the U.S. would warn affected countries that visas could become more difficult to obtain or shorter in duration if overstay rates don’t decline, according to the Journal.

The White House is also weighing stricter limits on certain types of visas. Proposals include toughening the requirements for investor visas and eliminating the practice of granting work authorization for the spouses of some high skilled H1-B visa holders. The administration also may set a maximum length of stay for students on student visas.

If the rules are implemented, they will be overseen by a host of new Department of Homeland Security leaders following a top-level shakeup at the department last week.

Former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was forced out of her position, followed closely by Claire Grady, the former acting homeland security deputy secretary.

The acting head of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Ron Vitiello also resigned last week, following news that Trump was pulling his nomination for the agency in favor of a “tougher” pick. Trump nominated Vitiello for the leadership post last year, and Vitiello was expected to be confirmed by the senate.

ICE career official Matthew Albence succeeded Vitiello and is leading the agency in an acting position. Albence is viewed as a hard-line immigration enforcer.

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