Trump says he wants skilled migrants but creates new hurdles

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Trump says he wants skilled migrants but creates new hurdles
In this Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 photo, Akash Negi poses for a picture in front of his office in New York. Donald Trump says he wants more "merit-based" immigrants as opposed to those who arrive due to family ties, but his administration has taken steps to make life difficult for those skilled immigrants already in the U.S. “Any country wants to protect its own citizens, but you don’t just end the program when you don’t have your own population trained,” Negi said. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

President Donald Trump says he wants the U.S. immigration system to focus on skilled immigrants. But his administration is making it harder for people with technical skills to come and stay in the country.

The Trump administration ended a program to admit foreign entrepreneurs who want to start companies in the United States. It is giving greater scrutiny to special work permits that are usually used by the technology industry. And it is contemplating ending an Obama administration program that allows those workers’ spouses to also work legally.

Critics contend the administration is trying to cut all forms of immigration. Trump has argued that foreign workers of all skill levels hurt U.S. citizens’ wages. His defenders contend that the administration is just closing loopholes and enforcing the law.