H-1B visa

Trump’s “Hire American” order makes it harder to get H-1B visas

Trump in front of an American flag made of tools before he signed the Buy American, Hire American executive order. HIs index finger is pointing toward his head and he's speaking at a podium.
Trump before signing the Buy American, Hire American executive order. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Immigration officials required more information from high-skilled H-1B visa applicants last year, and denied 22% in the last quarter — up 41% from the previous quarter, according to a new study by the National Foundation for American Policy.

The big picture: The number of denials and "requests for evidence" (RFE) began to climb following President Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" executive order signed in April of last year. While employers of H-1B workers often talk anecdotally about how much harder it's been to get their applications approved, this new data highlights a potential impact of the administration's crackdown.

Between the lines: Visas harder to obtain amid immigration crackdown

Immigrant families hugging as they're reunited after being separated
Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has continued its visa crackdown, recently releasing memos that make it easier for immigration officials to deny visa applications and begin deportation proceedings for those whose extensions or renewals are denied.

Between the lines: Family separation and ICE raids may be one of the more visible ways the Trump administration has created a hostile environment for immigrants, but with fewer headlines and more internal memos, the Department of Homeland Security has been making even legal, high-skilled immigration processes more difficult.