Trump eyeing path to citizenship through visa program

Terrence Dopp
Bloomberg News
President Donald Trump speaks as he tours the U.S. border with Mexico at the Rio Grande on the southern border, Jan. 10, 2019, in McAllen, Texas, as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, listens at right.

President Donald Trump said his administration is looking at changing a foreign worker visa program to include a more direct path to citizenship, as he wrestles with Democrats in Congress over funding for his border wall to deter illegal migrants from entering the U.S.

“H1-B holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship,” Trump said Friday on Twitter. “We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S.”

The H1-B visa program allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers in some skilled occupations. Trump had said last year that his administration plans to overhaul the program. He didn’t offer specifics on Friday.

The tweet came as a partial government shutdown enters its fourth week amid an impasse over Trump’s demand that lawmakers to allot $5.7 billion for construction of his proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, a central 2016 campaign promise. Trump repeatedly said during the election that Mexico would pay for the wall but backtracked from that position Thursday and is said to be considering tapping emergency disaster funds instead.