Proposed immigration plan could kick people off waiting lists

Some California immigrants who have been on years-long waiting lists for green cards may be thrown off the lists entirely as part of a proposed Trump administration immigration policy. Immigrants would be required to re-apply under the new system, and while some might subsequently face a shorter wait time, others might not be eligible at all.

The new plan proposes a system of points and removing the categories for employment- and family-based immigration. It would also eliminate country caps. The more than 3.6 million people waiting for approval under family status would lose their place. However, it may go through changes after being written. It must also be approved by Congress, where Democrats are likely to oppose it.

Businesses that rely on foreign workers, and tech companies in particular, could face serious consequences. Such technological advances as the internet, smart phones and cloud computing means the number of available H-1B visas is already inadequate to meet demand. Many immigrants who have been waiting for an employment-based green card may have to return to their home countries. If the change is a negative one, it could be decades before there is another major change to the system that fixes it. The Immigration Act of 1990 was the last one, which put the present caps on employment-based green cards, H1-B visas and countries.

The Trump administration has proposed and made a number of changes to immigration law already, but this is the most major one. Some of the changes are caught up in the court system. The fast-changing nature of immigration law along with its overall complexity means that people who are seeking family immigration, including a fiance visa or a visa for spouses, children or parents, may want to consult an attorney who can keep them apprised of current law.