Donald Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” of visa applications, as well as the temporary suspension of immigration from certain countries, would raise fees and add delays for anyone seeking a visa, including H-1B visas, immigration experts said.
In particular, a plan by Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, to stop issuing visas — at least temporarily — “from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world” may make it difficult for a significant number of people to get visas.
Data assembled by Computerworld through a Freedom of Information Act request shows foreign workers come from all corners of the world, including “dangerous and volatile regions.” Trump outlined his immigration enforcement plan in a speech Monday.
In 2014, the U.S. approved more than 370,000 H-1B applications.
Some were new entries, and others were for previously approved workers who were either renewing or updating their status.
Of that number, 2,234 of the H-1B visa holders were from Pakistan, a country that might appear on a Trump list.

Another 1,102 approved visa holders were from Iran.

There were 658 H-1B visa holders from Egypt, and 256 were from Syria. (Article continues below chart.)

Country of Birth for H-1B Visa Holders
Country
Frequency
INDIA
262,730
CHINA
29,936
CANADA
7,653
PHILIPPINES
6,055
KOREA, SOUTH
5,024
UNITED KINGDOM
3,822
MEXICO
3,216
TAIWAN
2,785
FRANCE
2,570
JAPAN
2,268
PAKISTAN
2,234
NEPAL
1,997
GERMANY
1,895
TURKEY
1,850
BRAZIL
1,831
ITALY
1,497
COLOMBIA
1,491
RUSSIA
1,461
VENEZUELA
1,432
SPAIN
1,329
IRAN
1,102
NIGERIA
1,015
ISRAEL
949
IRELAND
932
KOREA
813
UKRAINE
795
ARGENTINA
778
MALAYSIA
771
SINGAPORE
755
VIETNAM
695
EGYPT
658
ROMANIA
648
BANGLADESH
647
INDONESIA
637
SRI LANKA
608
PERU
583
POLAND
576
AUSTRALIA
564
GREECE
556
SOUTH AFRICA
547
HONG KONG
503
BULGARIA
477
THAILAND
476
LEBANON
462
JAMAICA
461
KENYA
437
NETHERLANDS
432
JORDAN
415
CHILE
395
SWEDEN
374
NEW ZEALAND
353
GHANA
341
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
333
ECUADOR
302
SYRIA
256
PORTUGAL
253
SWITZERLAND
249
BELGIUM
238
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
231
SAUDI ARABIA
205
ZIMBABWE
205
HUNGARY
203
Spain
189
AUSTRIA
179
UNKNOWN
179
DENMARK
174
HONDURAS
171
COSTA RICA
165
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
155
BOLIVIA
150
CZECH REPUBLIC
149
GUATEMALA
149
EL SALVADOR
147
SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO
142
KUWAIT
141
MOROCCO
138
ETHIOPIA
133
CAMEROON
126
FINLAND
125
BAHAMAS
123
MOLDOVA
111
KAZAKHSTAN
108
SLOVAK REPUBLIC
103
CROATIA
102
NORWAY
102
ARMENIA
101
UZBEKISTAN
101
PANAMA
99
URUGUAY
94
ALBANIA
88
UGANDA
88
USSR
87
Serbia
86
LIBYA
84
MONGOLIA
83
TANZANIA
83
BURMA
76
NIGER
74
LITHUANIA
70
GEORGIA
66
GRENADA
58
SENEGAL
58
BARBADOS
57
MACEDONIA
56
LATVIA
54
AZERBAIJAN
52
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
51
CYPRUS
51
ST. LUCIA
51
IRAQ
50
SLOVENIA
50
BELIZE
48
ICELAND
47
ZAMBIA
47
GUYANA
45
NICARAGUA
45
PARAGUAY
45
BAHRAIN
43
TUNISIA
43
ALGERIA
42
MAURITIUS
42
DOMINICA
40
USA
39
ESTONIA
35
KYRGYZSTAN
34
HAITI
30
RWANDA
28
BURKINA FASO
26
MACAU
25
TURKMENISTAN
25
CAMBODIA
24
COTE D’IVOIRE
24
TAJIKISTAN
24
CONGO
22
ST. KITTS-NEVIS
22
SUDAN
22
MALAWI
21
OMAN
21
ST.
VINCENT/GRENADINES
21
MALI
20
ANTIGUA-BARBUDA
19
BOTSWANA
18
IVORY COAST
18
BERMUDA
17
BENIN
16
AFGHANISTAN
15
Kosovo
15
QATAR
15
LUXEMBOURG
13
MADAGASCAR
13
Montenegro
13
YEMEN-SANAA
13
TOGO
12
SIERRA LEONE
11
YUGOSLAVIA
11
GABON
10
GAMBIA
10
NORTHERN IRELAND
10
MALTA
8
NAMIBIA
8
SURINAME
8
SWAZILAND
8
BHUTAN
7
FIJI
7
FRENCH POLYNESIA
7
MOZAMBIQUE
7
BURUNDI
6
CUBA
6
GUINEA
6
LIBERIA
6
BRUNEI
5
NETHERLANDS ANTILLES
5
ARUBA
4
ERITREA
4
KIRIBATI
4
LESOTHO
4
MALDIVES
4
MAURITANIA
4
ANGOLA
3
CAPE VERDE
3
CHAD
3
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO
3
SEYCHELLES
3
UNITED STATES
3
ANGUILLA
2
LAOS
2
SOMALIA
2
ARABIAN PENINSULA
1
CAYMAN ISLANDS
1
DJIBOUTI
1
GERMANY, WEST
1
GIBRALTAR
1
GUINEA-BISSAU
1
MARTINIQUE
1
MONACO
1
REUNION
1
Samoa
1
SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE
1
ST.
VINCENT-GRENADINES
1
STATELESS
1
TONGA
1
TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
1
VANUATU
1
Source: USCIS data for approved applications in fiscal year 2014

Trump’s plan to admit only people “who share our values and respect our people” didn’t indicate how it would be applied.
It also didn’t say whether all visa holders — visitor, H-1B and green card — would be subject to an ideological litmus test.
And what is the correct answer to such a question about American values?
“If you ask people born in this country what is an American ideology, I’m not quite sure that we would come out with one answer,” said Jessica Lavariega-Monforti, a professor and chair of the political science department at Pace University in New York.
“The immigration system, as it currently stands, could not process additional vetting without creating backlogs and increasing wait times for applicants.

At the same time, it is unclear how these policy changes would increase safety against a terrorist attack,” said Lavariega-Monforti.
John Lawit, an immigration attorney in Irving, Texas, said the U.S. already has a vetting process that begins as soon as someone applies for a tourist visa.

There are different levels of threat, such as being a citizen of Syria, that trigger a much higher level of vetting, he said.
“There is a huge financial commitment that must be made in terms of human resources in order to carry on such a vetting program, and a huge, huge increase in fees,” Lawit said.
Requiring oaths of some kind is “a lot of posturing with very little substance,” he added, and are ineffective in improving security.
Lawit said he once assisted H-1B workers who were employed in non-classified jobs at the Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories.

The processing time for security checks could run months.

That’s an example of extreme vetting, while “extraordinary detailed security investigations are conducted,” he said.
This story, “Trump’s ‘extreme’ anti-terrorism vetting may be H-1B nightmare” was originally published by Computerworld.

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