State Department scraps 5-year visas for Cubans

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The U.S. State Department is doing away with its 5-year B2 tourist visa for Cubans effective March 18 as the Trump administration strives for "reciprocity" between the 2 countries for visa rules, NBC News reports.

Why it matters: "The seemingly obscure change in visa rules in fact is one of the harshest measures against Cuba taken by the Trump administration because of the effect it will have on he informal supply chain for the communist-run island's" industry, per NBC. Under the newly restricted visa — which is expected to have the strongest effect on entrepreneurs and families split between the 2 nations — Cubans must travel through another country like Mexico or Panama in order to get to the U.S.

Denials rising for work, family and student immigrant visas

Donald Trump speaking at an event with a sign behind him that says "Buy American - Hire American"
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While President Trump has focused the nation's immigration debate at the border, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department have denied more work, family and student visa applications.

By the numbers: The number of immigrants seeking permanent residence in the U.S. who were found "ineligible" increased by 39% between fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018, according to an analysis of new State Department data by the National Foundation for American Policy. The number of denials of temporary permits — such as H-1B visas — also jumped by 5%.

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