US visa policy could spark showdown between President Trump and daughter, Ivanka

Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, could be on a collision course with her father over US visa policy. The daughter of the controversial US President travelled to Hyderabad, India in late November 2017 to address delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit advocating for young female entrepreneurs.

Sanwar Ali workpermit.com Comment

Many would argue that Trump attacks on immigration are somewhat hypocritical as Trump businesses are so reliant on immigrants. CNN has come up with the following statistics about Trump businesses or Trump associated businesses:

  • Trumps' businesses have received 283 H1B specialty visas for models and graduate level jobs since 2001. Trump's modeling venture, Trump Model Management, Mar-A-Lago, the Trump Corporation and hotel and resorts businesses have used H1B visas.
  • Trump businesses have also received 1,024 H2B visas since 2000 for Mar-A-Lago, Jupiter Gold Club, Lamington Farm and the Trump National Golf Club. These are primarily for lower skilled jobs to employ cooks, waiters and waitresses and housekeepers.
  • Trump's son-in-law and top White House adviser, Jared Kushner ran a project called Trump Bay Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, that raised $50 million via the EB5 immigrant investor scheme.

There have also been allegations that Trump businesses used illegal workers on building sites. Trump family members and a number of ancestors are immigrants to the US. Trump’s grandfather and mother were immigrants. Trump’s current wife Melania Trump and previous wives were immigrants. Much of Trump’s wealth has been accumulated thanks to immigration!  

However, what Ivanka Trump failed to address during her speech is that her agenda in India is likely to be complicated by her father’s US visa policies. The President’s daughter championed the International Entrepreneur Rule while in India, legislation signed into law by former US President, Barack Obama.

Unfortunately, President Trump has taken steps to delay – and more recently, revoke – the implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule, which enables foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in the US on a visa for up to five years to grow their start-ups.

Applicants for this type of visa are required to ‘provide a significant public benefit’ for the US, with evidence of at least $250,000 worth of investment from American investors. Ms Trump told delegates at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the world should ‘do more to attract and back female entrepreneurs.’

Female entrepreneurs still face business obstacles

Addressing the crowd at the Summit, Ivanka Trump said: “Despite the soaring rate of female entrepreneurs, women still face steep obstacles to starting, owning, and growing their businesses.”

“We must commit to giving female entrepreneurs access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws. In developing nations, 70 percent of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses are denied access to capital. The result has been close to a $300 billion dollar annual credit deficit for female entrepreneurs in the developing world,” Ms Trump added.

International Entrepreneur US Visa Rule postponed

However, Ivanka Trump’s agenda in India relies heavily on the International Entrepreneur Rule, which was due to come into effect in July 2017. This was postponed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) - by order of President Trump – until March 2018. Now, there’s a possibility that it will be scrapped entirely.

In September, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) began legal proceedings against the DHS. NVCA’s vice president of government affairs, Jeff Farrah, claimed that the delay was ‘unlawful’ and ‘in violation of established administrative procedures.’

A third of venture-backed companies in the US founded by immigrants

According to a study commissioned by the NVCA in 2013, one-third of venture-backed companies in the US – between 2006 and 2012 – were founded by a least one immigrant, many of which are household names, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Tesla Motors and Zipcar.

In an email to CBS News, Farrah wrote: “It’s great that Ivanka Trump is promoting entrepreneurship in India, but the administration’s action on the International Entrepreneur Rule is really harming entrepreneurship here in the US.”

J-1 visa program in President Trump’s sights

Meanwhile, as part of a widespread US immigration crackdown, which has heavily targeted the H1B program and L1 visa system as well as countless other nonimmigrant visa routes, President Trump has also set his sights on curbing the J-1 visa exchange initiative.

This includes summer work travel programs, which allow over 100,000 students to travel to the US to work each summer. CEO of the Cultural Vistas, Dr. Jennifer Clinton, argues that scrapping such visas harms female entrepreneurs seeking professional experience and training.

Clinton said: “Targeting these visas is a detriment to the development of business relationships, and critical new skills in the US, especially since women often aren’t afforded the same opportunities and mentors in their home countries. These programs, which do not cost the taxpayer a penny, break down harmful gender stereotypes for male and female participants.”

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