The Wall Street Journal on April 8 cited a White House statement advising that Homeland Security will soon publish new rules that will allow the spouses of foreigners on H-1B visas (mostly high-tech professionals) to take U.S. jobs.  The WH statement was, ““These proposed regulations include rules authorizing employment for spouses of certain high-skill workers on H-1B visas, as well as enhancing opportunities for outstanding professors and researchers,”

This will constitute new competition for unemployed Americans seeking jobs. Whether the administration has the unilateral authority to make the visa status of accompanying spouses eligible for work in the U.S. is questionable, but in any case, past practice has been to negotiate agreements with foreign countries that provide reciprocal benefits. If a country allows the spouse of a U.S. professional worker to take a job in that country’s economy, then that could result in reciprocal benefits for professionals from that country to work in the U.S.

Watch for that standard to be applied when the new policy is promulgated, but do not hold your breath. It is unlikely that there are tens of thousands of American tech workers who are waiting in line to take jobs in India and China.