The power struggle begins or does it simply continue or will the cacophony be raised to a different decibel?

Immigration reform is certainly a touchy subject with the Republicans and the Democrats.

Our firm’s sources on the Hill and in DC tell us– and as confirmed by most news media - which the President intends to flex his muscles despite the recent political debacle in the mid-term elections, and issue some executive actions relating to our immigration laws. He is inclined to respond to many of his supporters in both the Presidential elections. It is widely anticipated that such executive actions may be announced no later than December 21, 2014.

Such executive actions may attract less than pleasant consequences from the Republican Party and leadership. The President has been promised dire consequences. Strong language and suggestions of “impeachment” or a “law suit” or a “shut down” are bandied about. President Obama seems to be undeterred and wants to do what is “right”.

The Wall Street Journal of November 16, 2014 reports: “Sen. Roger Wicker (R., Miss.) said while there’s “very little we can do” to stop the president from going forward on immigration by himself, Congress could take action down the road by using “its power of the purse.”

“We are not going to provide the taxpayer money to enforce it,” Mr. Wicker said on Fox News Sunday, saying the president’s plan is feeding a “climate of distrust and confrontation” in Washington.”

And the November 16, 2014, Christian Science Monitor headline reads:

“Nothing to lose on immigration, Obama pushes ahead on his own
President Obama plans to reduce the threat of deportation for as many as 5 million illegal immigrants. If Republicans come up with an immigration reform proposal, he says, “I'll crumple up whatever executive actions that we take and we'll toss them in the wastebasket.”

It is important to note that most immigration services are self-funded through fees collected by the USCIS and related agencies.

Insiders suggest that some of the executive actions may be less than clear, i.e., they may address policy and not specifics or “numbers”. It is commonly believed that the executive actions will possibly address the following:

  1. In an attempt to eliminate or ameliorate the currently prevailing super long waiting periods for obtaining the Green Card for nationals of countries, such as India, China, Philippines and Mexico in the professional and skilled worker categories, visa numbers may be “recaptured”. This would go a long way to reducing the backlog. Of course, this may have some direct measurable impact on the sponsoring employers.
  2. It is also conjectured that spouses and minor children may not be counted in the “recapture” provision that may be proposed. That will allow additional applicants to get their Green Card.
  3. Executive action may allow individuals in the professional and skilled worker category to apply for their Green Card sooner. This may also allow these individuals to obtain their Green Card in less than the present indeterminate time period.
  4. The dreaded L-1B visa in the intra-company transferee visa category may receive some guidance. An executive action may offer an interpretation of “specialized knowledge”. Practitioners, applicants and employers alike have been waiting eagerly and anxiously for the promised USCIS guidance on “specialized knowledge” for a very, very long time. Of course, it is important to note here that it will take at least 3-6 months for the true impact of any such executive action to be known in the real world.
  5. It is possible an executive action may offer some palliative to the “3 and 10 year bars” that have served to separate many families and disrupt numerous lives.
  6. The undocumented in the US may also be impacted, hopefully favorably, by an executive directive.

Many changes, possible or real, are intertwined with politics and policies. Stayed tuned to the FLG newsletter for the latest happenings on our country’s immigration reform related activities and posturing.

About The Author

Rohit Turkhud has been specializing in the practice of the US Immigration & Nationality Laws since 1985. For the first 9 years of his career his practiced focused on asylum and removal cases. Since 1994 he has been specializing in employment based and family based matters. From 1994 to 2001 Rohit served in senior executive positions at IT companies and headed their legal and international recruiting divisions. He was an integral part of setting up an IT company's UK operations and travelled extensively to the UK in the discharge of those responsibilities. From June 2004 to September 2012 he was a partner at the Law Offices of Cyrus S. Nallaseth PLLC, and at Nallaseth & Turkhud PLLC. He continues to focus on employment based immigration matters. Rohit has joined FLG, as a partner, in the pursuit of excellence and expansion. Rohit seeks to contribute to the international growth of FLG and help ensure that we always provide the quality of services and attention to customer satisfaction that has catapulted FLG to the top of law firms specializing in the field of immigration laws. He is proud to be a member of a team that reaches from Miami to San Francisco and from New York to Denver, with Michigan being the heart of the network. He has authored a frequent immigration law column for India Today's North American edition. He is a guest speaker on business immigration issues, specially relating to H-1B and the new PERM rules and regulations. He has authored an article in the second edition of the authoritative "THE PERM BOOK". On the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, Rohit hosts a prime time LIVE immigration show on Jus Punjabi, a national cable network channel. Mr. Turkhud is fluent in the Hindi, Gujarati and Marathi languages.