The H-1B visa is not the only foreign worker visa that Donald Trump has been using and now wants to abolish. The AP reported on March 14 that Trump has admitted, if not actually boasted about, using the J-1 visa to bring in foreign students (mainly from Ireland - no Latin American, Asian or African students need apply, evidently - and apparently no one from any Muslim countries either) to work as waiters at his Chicago hotel and also, in the past, to work at his casinos in Atlantic City.

According to the AP, Trump defended his use of the visa program, which is meant to enable foreign students and trainees to learn about American culture, not to fill job vacancies, as follows:

"We can't expect individual companies to drive up their own costs. To do so would put that company at a competitive disadvantage against other businesses that would not follow suit."

Unlike the H-1B visa, which has strict, if not highly onerous, requirements concerning payment of prevailing wages by the employer (which are actively enforced by the government but which we never hear about from immigration opponents who call H-1B "cheap foreign labor") there is no minimum salary requirement for interns or trainees in the J-1 program.

Donald therefore clearly knows whereof he speaks when he talks about using J-1 to cut costs, even though some of his J-1 interns or trainees in Chicago have been getting very nice tips in his hotel's super-expensive restaurant, according to the AP. Well, tips are part of American culture too, are they not? For the AP report, See:

Needless to say, if Trump's above explanation for using the J-1 visa program had been included in any of the students' J-1 applications, or mentioned at their visa interviews, it is not very likely that a single one of these applications to register with a US Department of State J-1 sponsoring organization, or to receive a J-1 visa from an American consular post, would have been approved.

Is it possible that Trump's cynical boast about using this visa in order to cut costs, save taxes, and gain an advantage over his competitors might also be a ripe subject for investigation by one or more appropriate government agencies, if any of them ever becomes interested in pursuing this issue?

Trump's double-sided approach in using H-1B, J-1 and also, according to the same AP report, even EB-5 visas, all of which he now says he wants to eliminate, has also aroused more than a little suspicion on the part of hard right wing organizations such as Numbers USA and Center for Immigration Studies that Trump might not be entirely trustworthy with regard to carrying out their goals of reducing legal immigration. See:

Presumably, any disagreements that might exist between Trump and these hard line anti-immigrant organizations over the question of how far to go in abolishing legal work visas will not lead to any violent clashes between them.
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 35 years, he has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants from many different parts of the world obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger's email address is