USCIS Alludes to Imminent H-1B Reforms in Published Letter
Responding to a congressional inquiry on the H-1B program, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) indicated that additional changes are forthcoming for the controversial nonimmigrant visa category.
Leading a bipartisan group of his colleagues, Senator Chuck E. Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, penned an open letter in late March, seeking answers on the agency’s protocols for identifying and eliminating fraud and abuse in the H-1B program, as well as reassurances that USCIS is in fact, as required by law, ensuring good-faith efforts by employers to give preference to U.S. employees before hiring foreign workers. The letter was prompted by a news exposé of Americans losing their jobs to H-1B workers at prominent companies, including the University of California San Francisco and Disney.
In compliance with President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” executive order, Acting Director James W. McCament informed the senators that USCIS will propose new rules and guidance “as soon as practicable” in order to “protect the interests of U.S. workers.” As we informed our readers in April, this underlying executive order directed federal agencies to initiate a comprehensive study of the H-1B category’s “impact on domestic jobs and manufacturing,” before ultimately devising and implementing policies that prioritize American jobs and wages. To these ends, the director said he’d welcome a more active oversight role by Congress.
In his response, Director McCament reiterated that USCIS “continually strives to improve its programs and protect U.S. workers.” In addition to the announcement of pending H-1B policy changes, among the recent manifestations of this overarching mission are a series of steps the agency took this spring to root out and deter misuse of the H-1B category: the deployment of a working group devoted to H-1B issues and concerns; and an initiative, announced in April, that expands and enhances targeted site visits, while also establishing a tip line (ReportH1BAbuse@uscis.dhs.gov) for reporting H-1B fraud and abuse. These actions build off the 10,000 administrative site visits conducted by USCIS Fraud Detection and National Security officers just last fiscal year.
Our experienced attorneys will continue to monitor changes proposed to the H-1B program and other visa categories. For the past two decades, Zhang & Associates has successfully represented both employers and foreign nationals in petitioning for immigrant and nonimmigrant visas, including the H-1B. One reason for our success is not merely keeping apprised of developments, but also understanding the impetus of any changes to immigration law or regulation.
Just as we understand how important the H-1B is to a range of industries and foreign nationals, we also understand the importance of adhering to the legal requirement that H-1B workers not adversely affect or displace similarly situated U.S. workers. If you are interested in a case evaluation at no charge, we invite you to start a conversation with us here.
This is a developing story, and as more information becomes available, updates will be published on our news section.
Former U.S. Consular officer, Attorney Sechyi Laiu joined Zhang & Associates, P.C. on June 26, 2017
At Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu specializes on Consular Processing cases and business development. Attorney Laiu also focuses on TN visas, E visas, CBP administrative proceedings (monetary confiscation, deferred inspection), and overseas financial compliance.
Prior to joining Zhang & Associates, P.C., Attorney Laiu worked for the U.S. Department of State as a Chinese and Portuguese speaking diplomat. As a consular-coned officer who served in Vancouver (Canada), Shenyang (P.R. China), and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Attorney Laiu processed over 30,000 visa cases and worked in every section of Consular Affairs overseas (Fraud Prevention Unit, Immigrant Visas, Non-Immigrant Visas, and American Citizen Services).
He will use his experience and expertise to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients.
Founded in 1996, Zhang & Associates, P.C. offers legal services to clients nationwide in all aspects of U.S immigration law. We have successfully handled thousands of immigration cases.
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