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如果我没资格留在美国,谁会有呢?

更新时间:2017-11-26 11:51:56 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is Anyone Good Enough for an H1-B Visa?
如果我没资格留在美国,谁会有呢?

Six months ago I won the lottery — the H-1B visa processing lottery for skilled foreign workers. I called my thrilled parents and celebrated with friends. I’m from northeastern China and have an M.B.A. from Stanford, and was planning to stay in Silicon Valley to help start a company based on a promising new technology to improve the use of data. I was overjoyed because, historically, being selected in the lottery was a near guarantee that an applicant could remain in this country at least three more years.

六个月前,我中了彩:在申请外籍技术型员工的H-1B签证时被抽中了。我打电话给兴奋的父母,还跟朋友们一起庆祝。我来自中国东北,拥有斯坦福大学的MBA学位,计划留在硅谷,参与创建一个新公司,它应用一种前景光明的新技术,改善对数据的使用。我非常高兴,因为从过去的经验看来,在抽签中被选中是一个保证,申请人至少可以在这个国家居留三年。

But at the end of July, I received the dreaded Request for Further Evidence from immigration authorities. I provided the extra information that United States Citizenship and Immigration Services asked for. In September, I got another request. I complied again. Finally, on Oct. 11, half a year after my celebration, I learned I had been denied a visa.

但在7月底,我从移民局收到了可怕的进一步补充材料的请求(Request for Further Evidence)。我提供了美国公民及移民服务局(United States Citizenship and Immigration Services)所要求的额外信息。9月,我再次收到请求,于是再次递交了材料。最后,10月11日,在举行庆祝半年之后,我得知自己被拒签了。

After earning law degrees in China and at Oxford, after having worked in Hong Kong as a lawyer at a top international firm, after coming to United States three years ago for an M.B.A. and graduating and joining a start-up, I was given just 60 days to leave the country. I have 17 days left.

我曾在中国和牛津大学获得法学学位,在香港一家顶级国际律师事务所担任律师,三年前来到美国攻读MBA,毕业后加入一个创业公司;如今我被要求在60天内离开这个国家,到今天还剩17天。

In the past, it was fairly safe to assume that once you were selected in the lottery, your H-1B petition would be accepted by immigration officials. In 2016, this happened about 87 percent of the time. But things began to change in April when the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice announced measures to increase scrutiny of the highly skilled applicants who use the H-1B program, and President Trump signed an executive order calling for federal agencies to suggest reforms to the program.

过去,一旦在抽签中被抽中,你的H-1B签证申请就将被移民官员接受,这是十拿九稳的。在2016年,这种概率大约是87%;但从4月开始,事情开始发生变化,当时国土安全部和司法部宣布,对H-1B计划的高技能申请人增强审查措施,特朗普总统签署了一项行政命令,要求联邦机构对这一签证计划提出改革建议。

While it’s unclear exactly what percentage of petitions have been approved so far in 2017, requests for evidence like the ones I received have increased by 44 percent compared with last year, according to immigration statistics, strongly suggesting that more people are being denied than before Mr. Trump took office.

根据移民统计数据,虽然目前尚不清楚2017年迄今批准的申请占总申请人数的百分之几,但收到的申请比去年增长了44%。这强烈暗示着特朗普上任后,遭拒签的人数增加了。

Many of my fellow international students are in situations similar to mine. Some had job offers from companies like Google, Apple and PwC when they learned that their applications had been denied or did not even make it into the lottery. For those whose employers have only United States offices, losing the lottery meant losing jobs and going home, with no real way to use the skills they were on the verge of contributing to the American economy.

很多和我一样的国际学生遇到和我类似的情况。有些人从谷歌、苹果和普华永道等公司得到了工作职位,但他们的签证申请遭到拒绝,或者根本没有进入抽签程序。对那些雇主只在美国拥有办事处的人来说,失去抽签资格就意味着失业和回家。他们的技能本来即将为美国经济做出贡献,现在却无法在这里施展。

And some classmates who, like me, were picked in the H-1B lottery last spring are still waiting for an answer. The Trump administration on April 3 announced that it would suspend the “premium processing” service that, for a fee, guaranteed applicants responses to their petitions within 15 days. This has caused problems for students who needed a quick decision because their work authorization expired over the summer or because they wanted to plan overseas trips that they couldn’t make while their status was in limbo. My mom had surgery for cancer in July, but I simply couldn’t go back to China to be with her and risk being denied at the border upon my return because I didn’t have H-1B approval.

有些和我一样在今年春天被H-1B抽中的同学还在等待结果。特朗普政府于4月3日宣布,将暂停收取额外费用,保证申请人可以在15日内得到答复的“加急处理”(premium processing)服务。这对于需要快速决定的学生们来说是个问题,他们可能是工作许可在夏天过期了,或者需要做签证状态未明情况下不能做的海外旅行。我妈妈在7月因癌症接受手术治疗,但是我无法回中国陪伴她,因为在返回美国时,我可能会因为没有获得H-1B签证批准而被拒绝入境。

My two requests for evidence asked me to prove my job was a “specialty occupation” — that is, work that only someone with a bachelor’s degree or higher can do. My work involves artificial intelligence and big data, and my letters of support came from an authority in my industry and veteran start-up investor, and a Nobel Prize winner. But it wasn’t enough to convince the government that my job requires advanced skills.

那两个补充证据请求要求我证明我的工作是一个“专业职务”——也就是说,只有具备本科以上学历的人才能做的工作。我的工作涉及人工智能和大数据,我的推荐信来自业界权威人士和资深创投人,还有一位诺贝尔奖获得者。但这些都不足以说服政府我的工作需要高级技能。

While I gave up my law job and used my savings and my parents’ to pay my Stanford graduate school tuition, in the grand scheme of things, I know my situation is much better than that of many immigrants who are forced to leave this country: Just this week, thousands of Haitians in the United States learned that they may have to return to Haiti as a result of the administration’s decision to strip them of the Temporary Protected Status they were granted while their country recovered from disasters.

我放弃了自己的法律工作,动用自己和父母的积蓄来支付斯坦福大学的研究生学费,然而从大环境来说,我知道自己的情况要比许多被迫离开这个国家的移民好得多:就在本周,美国有数万名海地人获悉他们可能不得不返回海地,因为政府决定剥夺他们在海地抗灾时获得的临时保护身份(Temporary Protected Status)。

It’s true that I’m brokenhearted about missing the chance to return to China to care for my mother (she insisted that I stay and pursue the visa that was her dream for me), but I’m not looking for sympathy. As much as I hate to leave, I know I will be fine.

失去回国照顾母亲的机会确实令我心碎(她坚持让我留下来等待签证,这是她做梦都希望我得到的),但我并不是在寻求同情。尽管我非常不想离开,但我知道我会好起来。

Rather, I’m frustrated, because I know I’m part of a pattern: America is losing many very skilled workers because of its anti-immigrant sentiment, and while this is a disappointing blow to me and my classmates, it will also be a blow to the United States’ competitiveness in the global economy. Tech giants such as Google and Tesla were founded by immigrants.

我更多的是感到沮丧,因为我知道自己也是一种模式的一部分:美国因为反移民情绪而失去了许多有才干的工作者,这不仅对于我和同学们来说是一个令人失望的打击,而且也打击了美国在全球经济中的竞争力。谷歌和特斯拉这样的科技巨头都是由移民创立的。

I can’t make sense of why an administration that claims to want this country to be strong would be so eager to get rid of us. We are losing our dreams, and America is losing the value we bring.

我无法理解,为什么一个声称要让这个国家强大起来的政府会急于摆脱我们。我们失去了我们的梦想,而美国失去了我们所带来的价值。

As I make plans to go back to China, I find myself wondering: If I am not qualified to stay in the United States, then who is?

计划回到中国时,我在想:如果我没有资格留在美国,那么谁会有呢?

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