Opinion | New Visas Limits Would Be a Self-Inflicted Wound for the U.S.

This quantities to an answer for an issue that doesn’t exist, for the reason that federal authorities has had ample monitoring mechanisms in place for the reason that 9/11 assaults to maintain tabs on overseas college students and reporters. However that has by no means been sufficient for Kenneth Cuccinelli, the appearing director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers, whose signature is on the proposed modifications. A tough-core foe of immigration whose title is “senior official performing the duties of the deputy secretary of homeland safety,” he accused Mr. Trump of being too gentle on immigrant employees earlier than signing on to guide the administration’s battle on immigration.

The brand new rule, stretching to 256 pages, was quietly launched on Sept. 25, with a 30-day remark interval, which ends on Sunday. After that, the immigration company must evaluation the feedback, draft a last rule and despatched it to the Workplace of Administration and Funds for evaluation, a course of that might stretch previous the election.

The brand new rule has completely different implications for the completely different visa classes. For overseas journalists, a comparatively small group not beforehand focused by the administration as an entire, the rule would restrict their keep in the US to 240 days earlier than a journalist needed to get an extension. That quantities to a significant obstacle for reporters who convey their households and have a tendency to spend a number of years in the US, and understanding {that a} renewal at all times lies a number of months forward would put a severe constraint on trustworthy reporting. The current visa time limit for overseas correspondents is 5 years.

Journalist visas, furthermore, are sometimes primarily based on reciprocal agreements, and nations the place American journalists are primarily based — together with allies — can be more likely to retaliate for any limits on the keep of their nationwide correspondents. That has already begun in a tit-for-tat battle with China of expulsions and unextended visas.

College students and alternate guests are by far the biggest group affected by the proposed rule, accounting for greater than two million visas. Most of these come from Asia, with China sending about 370,000 students, India 202,000 and South Korea 52,000. Below the brand new rule, college students can be restricted to 2 or 4 years, relying on their plan of examine, as a substitute of the present association permitting them to stay in the US as long as they’re finding out. College students from nations on the state sponsors of terrorism checklist and from nations whose residents have a excessive price of overstaying their visas — many African nations — can be restricted to 2 years.

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