BALTIMORE, Maryland — About 25 Baltimore teachers, mostly Filipinos, may soon be forced to leave their jobs and the country they’ve called home for more than ten years, because the Trump administration is restricting their ability to renew their visas.The teachers have H-1B visas, granted to immigrants with specialized skills that the United States needs. The visas, often used in the technology sector, allow workers to stay for three years and can be extended beyond that. Workers can eventually get permanent resident status, but it can take years, according to a report by The74Million.org.
Baltimore’ school district applied for the teachers’ visa renewals months ago, but the federal government has delayed the process, the district’s chief human capital officer, Jeremy Grant-Skinner, told the Baltimore Sun.
The immigrants’ legal status ends when their visas expire, even if they have filed for an extension.Critics said the Trump administration is deliberately slowing down the process of visa renewal because it believes Americans should have the jobs.
“It’s so disheartening,” Elliott Rauh, a teacher at Vanguard Collegiate Middle School, told the Sun. “The biggest losers in this situation are the kids.”
About 250 foreign educators work in Baltimore, one of several districts that rely on international teachers, including Houston, Dallas, and Los Angeles. Some Durham, North Carolina, teachers who have a different type of authorization, known as a J1 visa, could be facing the same threat. CNN reported in March that doctors and medical residents serving needy areas are also at risk because of recent changes to the program.
Administrators from Baltimore have told the teachers affected that they will be able to return to work when they are able to come back to the United States.
This article was originally published on INQUIRER.NET