Policy shifts such as more in-person interviews, stricter guidance on denying student visas, travel bans and lower refugee caps have reduced immigration
When Moshe Schulmans then fiancee visited the United States consulate in Casablanca, he believed that she would leave her interview for a K-1 visa with permission to return to New York and they could finally stop conducting their relationship long-distance.
Instead, she walked out with even more paperwork.
The supplementary form she was assigned DS-5535 is a brainchild of Donald Trumps administration. After an executive order and memorandum from the White House calling for enhanced vetting of foreign nationals, the state department also announced a three-page document for visa applicants whom consular officers believe could pose terrorist or national security threats.
That experience in finding sudden new barriers to legal immigration to the US is hardly unique. From more in-person interviews, to stricter guidance on denying student visas, to travel bans, to lower refugee caps, experts say recent policy shifts have impacted the number of foreign nationals who are coming to America. On top of that is recent news that the Trump administration wants to close all international offices of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, shifting the paperwork back to the US but almost certainly adding to delays for those seeking to come to America from abroad.
As more data from the last two years become available, the long-term effects of such actions are finally coming into focus.
During the first nine months of fiscal year 2018, immigration application denials increased by 37% since fiscal year 2016, according to the Cato Institutes immigration policy analyst David Bier. Reuters reported that more than 37,000 visa applications were refused in 2018 as a direct result of the administrations travel ban on primarily Muslim-majority countries.
The key is that this is no longer speculation. Were now seeing the consequences of the rhetoric and the policy, said Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Presidents Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration.
Schulmans partner who asked to remain anonymous spent a year in the US for an internship and completed her masters degree in France. But her history in the west didnt prevent her from being flagged for additional vetting.
Schulman suspects his partners obviously Arabic name had something to do with why she was targeted.
To me, its Islamophobia. Its racist, in my opinion, Schulman told the Guardian.
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