This post has been updated on January 18 as of 9:30 am in order to reflect a late breaking POLITICO story.

POLITICO reports on the morning of January 18 that President-elect Trump, in a TV interview, has promised a more compassionate approach to immigration than mentioned during his campaign, including a merit-based system that gives priority to skilled workers. In Trump's words:

"We're going to have great people and people of great talent coming into our country...And we're going to have a lot of heart, believe me."

Trump specifically mentioned Silicon Valley companies who are moving to Canada because "they can't get the people they need...because we don't allow them into this country".

If the new president follows through on this plan, that would radically conflict with proposals that two of his closest immigration advisors, Senator Jeff Sessions and Breitbart News chief Stephen Bannon, have made to limit or drastically reduce H-1B, or even legal immigration in general, in order to accomplish a major demographic change back to the pre-1965 past, disguised as protecting American workers.

My original post appears below.

Proposals to restrict H-1B visas, perhaps even to the vanishing point, are not new. Neither are they limited to only one of our two parties.

As long ago as 2005, a Democratic Congressman, Bill Pascrell (NJ), introduced legislation (HR 4378), which, if it had become law, would have made drastic changes in the H-1B program in order to prevent it from, in Rep. Pascrell's words: "tearing down the labor standards" of American workers.

Among the bill's provisions were the following:

1) H-1B employers would have had to recruit American workers first.

2) Placing H-1B workers at the site of a third party employer ("outsourcing") would have been prohibited.

3) The annual limit for visas would have been fixed at 65,000 (eliminating the extra 20,000 visas for US master degree holders).

4) The maximum number of years in H-1B status would have been reduced from 6 to 4.

To be continued in a future post.

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 obtain work visas and green cards.

Roger's practice is concentrated in H-1B specialty worker and O-1 extraordinary ability work visas, J-1 training visas, and green cards though labor certification and opposite or same sex marriage.

Roger's email address is