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Ken Cuccinelli, senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary for DHS. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

The Trump administration announced new, long-anticipated restrictions for the H-1B high-skilled visa program on Tuesday, some of which will go into effect this week.

Why it matters: The rules are "far and away, one of the most significant reforms made to the H-1B program in the past 20 years," deputy secretary of Labor Patrick Pizzella told reporters on a call.

Between the lines: The rule from the Department of Labor, which will go into effect Thursday morning, will change how much employers will be required to pay foreign workers they hire on H-1B visas, forcing them to pay workers more.

  • The DHS rule will narrow the kinds of jobs or "specialty occupations" H-1B visa holders can be hired for and increase scrutiny for third-party outsourcing companies that rely on hiring H-1B workers.
  • DHS said in a release that its rule will require "companies to make 'real' offers to 'real employees,' by closing loopholes and preventing the displacement of the American worker." This rule will go into effect 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

What they're saying: "The DHS rule will affect over one-third of the H-1B petitions," acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli told reporters. "I cannot overstate how big a deal this is."

What to watch: The administration is likely to face lawsuits over the way they're rolling out these new regulations. "Given the benefit to Americans, we're willing to live with that risk. Obviously, the president is," a senior administration official said.

Go deeper: Axios' Deep Dive: Skilled Immigration

Go deeper

Acting director of ICE resigns

ICE headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2020. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Jonathan Fahey, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has resigned after leading the agency for two weeks, though it is unclear what prompted his departure, an ICE spokesperson confirmed to Axios Wednesday night.

Why it matters: Fahey's exit, first reported by Buzzfeed's Hamed Aleaziz, comes after the previous acting director, Tony Pham, abruptly left the post in December and amid a wider shakeup in the Department of Homeland Security.

2 hours ago - Health

NYC to impose vaccine mandate on private employers

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) on Monday announced a new COVID vaccine mandate for all private companies.

Why it matters: De Blasio, speaking on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," said the "first-in-the-nation measure" will go into effect starting Dec. 27. It will apply to approximately 184,000 businesses.

D.C.-Beijing tensions are shifting markets

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

U.S. markets stand to lose $2 trillion in value if D.C. and Beijing drift further apart.

Why it matters: Political chasms are showing up in new securities regulations that put companies and investors in a bind. The rules are also another reflection of how much relations between the world’s largest economies have cooled, even as they remain economically interdependent.