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  • Articles RSS Feed

    Published on 04-10-2013 01:34 PM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law and Policy

    by Greg Siskind

    Reform Bill About Ready

    Politico is reporting more details on the Senate immigration bill. All terms appear to be negotiated and it could be introduced as early as tomorrow, but more likely next week.

    The timetable for the bill will be somewhat slower than what President Obama hoped. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings first and then begin markup in early May, according to the report. ...

    Published on 04-10-2013 01:29 PM

    Bloggings on I-9 E-Verify Immigration Compliance

    Bruce Buchanan

    USCIS Clarifies new Form I-9 must be Used by May 7, 2013; by Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser

    On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services(USCIS) published a
    notice in the Federal Register announcing the new Form I-9, stating that 
    employers can no longer use prior versions of Form I-9 effective May 7, 2013. 
    However, in the Supplementary Information section of the notice, USCIS
    incorrectly described the effective date as being after May 7, 2013. USCIS has
    corrected this error
    Published on 04-09-2013 03:29 PM

    Construction Industry Trade Groups' Concerns on Gang of Eight's Guest Worker Program are Misplaced.

    by Christopher M. Pogue, Esq.

    On April 4 the New York Times published an article quoting several major construction industry group’s concerns that the “Gang of Eight” proposed guest worker program, being pushed in the US Senate, does not realistically address the needs of their industry.

    Their concern ...

    Published on 04-09-2013 02:53 PM

    Does the H-1B Cap Help or Hurt CIR?

    by Robert Webber and Kelly M. Thompson

    As anyone involved in employment-based immigration knows, last week was a big week for H-1B cap filings.  The cap season opened on April 1 and closed on April 5.  After the cap is reached, no more cap-subject petitions are accepted for the fiscal year.  H-1B hopefuls who did not file in time must wait until the following April to file again.  If they are in the United States in F-1 student visa status, as many are, they must either somehow extend their education in the U.S. (extend their F-1 student status) or leave the United States when their current status expires.   The vast majority of these students are already employed by U.S. employers pursuant to CPT or OPT.

    Based on our experience, when the U.S. economy is booming, the H-1B cap fills up quickly.  In fact, in 2008 the cap was reached on the FIRST day; that is, on April 1-2, 2008, USCIS received 65,000+ petitions from employers across the United States seeking to employ foreign workers with a bachelor’s degree.  2007 was a great year, economically, in the United States; so, it makes sense that the cap was filled quickly on the first ...

    Published on 04-09-2013 01:22 PM

    Bloggings on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration

    Chris Musillo


    by Chris Musillo

    The USCIS has reached the statutory H-1B cap of 65,000 for fiscal year 2014 (H-1B Regular Cap). USCIS has also received more than 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of persons exempt from the cap under the advanced degree exemption (H-1B Masters Cap).  This is the first year since FY 2008 that the cap has been reached so quickly.

    USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption. On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process (commonly known as a “lottery”) to select a sufficient number of petitions needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly selected, USCIS will reject and return the petition with filing fees, unless it is found to be a duplicate filing.

    F-1 students who wish to use the "cap-gap" rules must be lottery winners. F-1 students who do not win the lottery must exit the US at the conclusion of their F-1 period. 

    Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com.  You can also visit us on Facebook and follow ...
    Published on 04-09-2013 11:57 AM

    Bloggings on Immigration Law

    by Roger Algase

    Another Way in Which the H-1B Cap Hurts America

    Cyrus Mehta, in the April 8 ID, eloquently writes about the irrationality of H-1B caps which deprive American employers of access to the services of the most qualified skilled workers from around the world, especially in high tech are as. I entirely agree. There is also another way in which America is hurt by the shortage of H-1B visas. ...

    Published on 04-08-2013 01:53 PM

    The Many Problems Surrounding the H-1B Visa Cap

    by Cyrus D. Mehta

    Everyone was rushing to file H-1B visa petitions between the April 1-5 window as there was a sinking feeling that the USCIS would receive more than the 65,000 cases allocated under the H-1B annual cap as well as more than the 20,000 cases under the additional Master’s cap. Just as we were emerging from the H-1B filing madness - as we were all underwater working desperately hard for our clients - USCIS announces on April 5 itself that both the caps have been reached.  

    This means that all H-1B cases properly filed between April 1-5, 2013 will be subject to a randomized lottery. It also means that those not selected, will need to wait to file next April 2014. If we do not get more H-1B visa numbers from Congress, people rejected this year could stand a chance of being rejected next year in 2014 too based on the randomized lottery. Those who will be selected, and the chances of being selected depend on how many more H-1B cases USCIS received over 85,000, can only start their H-1B employment on October 1, 2013. 

    If a company now wishes to hire a badly needed engineer from abroad, it will need to wait till October 1, 2013 before this person can come on board, and that too if this worker was lucky enough to be selected under the lottery. It is self evident that the cap hinders the ability of a company to hire skilled and talented workers in order to grow and compete in the global economy. The hiring of an H-1B worker does not displace a US worker. In fact, research shows that they result in more jobs for US workers. 

    It is also ironic that the USCIS should announce the H-1B ...

    Published on 04-08-2013 01:32 PM

    Show Me The Money: Why DOL Can No Longer Determine Prevailing Wages for H-2B - Is PERM Next?*

    Gary Endelman

    *Special thanks go out to Lee Beck and Angelo Paparelli for their generous and invaluable tutelage on the H-2B prevailing wage.

    Those of you who took a badly needed break from the H-1B frenzy of last week might have spotted this golden nugget of foreign labor certification news on the DOL website :

    Effective March 22, the Department is holding in abeyance most pending H-2B prevailing wage requests and those it received after March 22, while it considers appropriate action in response to the Court order entered March 21, 2013 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, 2:09-cv-00240-LDD (E.D. Pa). That order granted a permanent injunction against the operation of the portion of the 2008 wage rule related to prevailing wage determinations and gave the Department 30 days to come into compliance with the Court order. The Department will, however, continue to process and issue final determinations on H-2B applications for temporary labor certification where the employer's wage offer is based upon a prevailing wage not enjoined by the court order: those utilizing applicable Collective Bargaining Agreements, acceptable private wage surveys or Service Contract Act or Davis Bacon Act wage determinations. The Department intends to promulgate a revised wage rule within 30 days of the date of the Court order. This will allow the Department to resume providing employers with both prevailing wage determinations and final ...

    Published on 04-08-2013 01:02 PM

    Bloggings On EB-5

    by EB5Investors.com Staff

    State of Vermont Retracts Approval from Dream Life Project

    According to Brent Raymond, Vermont Regional Center director, a memorandum of understanding in September 2012 was canceled because the parameters of the American Dream Fund’s Dreamlife project had changed from those initially approved. ...

    Published on 04-08-2013 12:52 PM

    Arcing toward Immigration Justice: "Illegals" No More

    by Angelo Paparelli

    Article: Arcing toward Immigration Justice: "Illegals" No More by Angelo Paparelli

    Thumbnail image for rainbow arc.jpgAll of us at times become dispirited.  

    As I've viewed immigration over the last 40 years, passionate advocates have come and gone, fortunate foreign citizens have been granted green cards and then naturalized; but the harshness and hard-heartedness of immigration law as a reflection of American cultural norms hasn't really diminished.

    For example, back in the 1980s I set a personal goal (to help end consular absolutism and introduce a measure of fairness into the visa process). In this, I have utterly failed, and have at times trended toward despondency.

    Although some of the State Department's power has shifted to Homeland Security, State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has defended the prerogatives of consular officers like a hyper-vigilant Tiger Mom. Despite many articles, blog posts, ABA and AILA resolutions, and open-mike challenges at State Department public forums, visa refusals based on the decisions of consular officers on questions of fact remain virtually unassailable, as a March 28, 2013 decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals painfully affirmed.

    But occasional discouragement is not  surrender.  As Martin Luther King, Jr., reminds and emboldens us, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

    Developments this past week in American immigration have proved him right.

    On Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agreed to pay $1 million in settlement to a group of plaintiffs for early-morning home raids that terrorized their children. Adriana Aguilar, a U.S. citizen and the lead plaintiff, described the pain that jack-booted action by federal officers caused:

    My son, who was just four years old, was crying in fear of gunmen in his home at four in the morning . . . We asked them to show a warrant or any other authority they had for being inside our home. They ignored us.

    Earlier in the week, the Associated Press announced that it would no longer include the term, "illegal immigrant," in its authoritative Stylebook -- the journalist's bible. According to its Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll, the move is part of an ongoing effort by the AP to rid the Stylebook of labels (thus, schizophrenic is replaced by person afflicted with schizophrenia).   As she explained:

    It’s kind of a lazy device that those of us who type for a living can become overly reliant on as a shortcut,” she said. “It ends up pigeonholing people or creating long descriptive titles where you use some main event in someone’s life to become the modifier before their name.

    Unpacking the AP move, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and a panel of thoughtful analysts offered ...

    Published on 04-08-2013 12:26 PM

    USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap in the First Week. At Least 50,000 Petitions Estimated to Have Been Received on the First Day

    by Roger Algase

    Bloggings: USCIS Reaches H-1B Cap in the First Week. At Least 50,000 Petitions Estimated to Have Been Received on the First Day. By Roger Algase

    The warning that USCIS issued on March 15 that the 2014 H-1B cap might be reached during the first application week may have turned out to have been a self-fulfilling prophecy. On April 5, USCIS announced that the cap for this coming fiscal year had been reached in the first week and that there will be lotteries for both the regular 65,000 annual quota category and the additional 20,000 US master degree holder visas.

    USCIS did not announce how many petitions had been received or when the lotteries will take place. It merely said that a "high" number of petitions had come in. However, an April 4 article in Computer World estimated that at least 50,000 to 60,000 cap subject petitions came in on the first day. This was based on information from a private contractor, FCi Federal, which provides extra staff to help USCIS handle the volume.*

    Published on 04-05-2013 12:18 PM

    Congress Loves E-Verify: Grants $111 Million Funding, Conducts Research Study

    by Ann Cun

    The love affair with E-Verify is still going strong, even whilst Congress is in recess.

    Last month, both houses of Congress agreed to grant USCIS an additional $111 million dollars to fund the E-Verify Program.  H.R. 933 is currently enrolled in the House of Representatives and has yet to be signed off by the President. [Did somebody mention sequestration?]

    To be fair, the E-Verify Program isn’t the only program receiving funding.  H.R. 933 would grant Customs and Border Protection an additional $324 million to fund border security fencing, border security infrastructure, and technology.  With the influx in funding for the E-Verify Program and “border” security of our nation (both the interior and borders), Congress is getting serious about immigration reform.  It’s also making good on its promise to “get tough” on immigration ...

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