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.

By the numbers:

  • There was a 41% increase in denials between the 3rd and 4th quarter — from 15.9% in Q3 to 22.4% Q4.
  • In Q3 2017, 23% of completed cases required "requests for evidence" (RFE). That number jumped to 69% in the Q4.
  • There were almost as many RFEs in the 4th quarter as in all three other quarters combined.
  • The last quarter under the Obama administration (Q1 2017) only had RFE for 17% of cases, compared to the 69% at the end of Trump's first fiscal year.
  • Indian H-1B applicants saw even stricter scrutiny in the last quarter, with 72% of their applications requiring additional evidence in Q4, compared to 61% of other nationalities.

Key quote: "This increase is significant and is clearly attributable to [Buy American Hire American] and the Administration’s desire to restrict legal immigration," Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance, which works to outsource needed H-1B workers to American companies, told Axios.

  • He said that in the IT and engineering sector, he's seen an almost 100% RFE rate and an increased denial rate where it was previously near zero.

The other side: Proponents of cutting back legal immigration argue that these visas take high-paying jobs from American workers and often accuse companies of using H-1B visas to pay workers less. They view the actions of the Trump administration simply as better law enforcement.

Go deeper: How Trump is making it harder to get a visa

Go deeper

Trump tightens screws on ByteDance to sell Tiktok

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

President Trump added more pressure Friday night on China-based TikTok parent ByteDance to exit the U.S., ordering it to divest all assets related to the U.S. operation of TikTok within 90 days.

Between the lines: The order means ByteDance must be wholly disentangled from TikTok in the U.S. by November. Trump had previously ordered TikTok banned if ByteDance hadn't struck a deal within 45 days. The new order likely means ByteDance has just another 45 days after that to fully close the deal, one White House source told Axios.

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m. ET: 21,056,850 — Total deaths: 762,293— Total recoveries: 13,100,902Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9:30 p.m ET: 5,306,215 — Total deaths: 168,334 — Total recoveries: 1,796,309 — Total tests: 65,676,624Map.
  3. Health: CDC: Survivors of COVID-19 have up to three months of immunity Fauci believes normalcy will return by "the end of 2021" with vaccine — The pandemic's toll on mental health — FDA releases first-ever list of medical supplies in shortage.
  4. States: California passes 600,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.
  5. Cities: Coronavirus pandemic dims NYC's annual 9/11 Tribute in Light.
  6. Business: How small businesses got stiffed — Unemployment starts moving in the right direction.
  7. Politics: Biden signals fall strategy with new ads.

Harris: "Women are going to be a priority" in Biden administration

Sen. Kamala Harris at an event in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

In her first sit-down interview since being named Joe Biden's running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris talked about what she'll do to fight for women if elected VP, and how the Democrats are thinking about voter turnout strategies ahead of November.

What they're saying: "In a Biden-Harris administration women are going to be a priority, understanding that women have many priorities and all of them must be acknowledged," Harris told The 19th*'s Errin Haines-Whack.