The last several months have seen a nearly endless news focus on border security and a tangible southern border wall.
Does that focus obscure other immigration issues that are hampering employers nationwide?
One can argue it does.
Since 2017, the Trump Administration has been enforcing a so-called buy American, hire American executive order. Since that time, the Citizenship and Immigration Services Agency (USCIS) has issued a number of directives that have had and continue to have an impact on employer hiring practices. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, those directives include:
- Directing officers to no longer defer to prior approvals when examining renewal or extension requests.
- Allowing more scrutiny of H-1B petitions, especially if employers intend to contract those workers out to third-party client worksites.
- Facilitating visa petition denials without first issuing requests for evidence (RFEs).
- Instructing officers to serve a notice to appear—a charging document that orders foreign nationals to appear in immigration court to begin removal proceedings—to anyone unlawfully present in the United States when an application, petition or benefit request is denied.
- Changing the way unlawful presence is calculated for those with F-1 student visas.
The USCIS continues to deny work visas at a high rate, claiming jobs are either not in a specialty occupation or that the position for which the visa is sought fails to meet the definition of an employer/employee relationship.
The National Foundation for American Policy now warns that employers should expect the high visa application denial rates to continue.
Many H-1B visa holders are also worried about changing job positions for fear the increase in denials and processing times could leave them in limbo.
Many employers are even beginning to call these policies a “silent wall” around America…
Is there an end in sight?
According to officials in Washington, given the executive order from President Trump, the USCIS will continue to view highly skilled foreign-born workers as more of a threat than an asset to the U.S. economy.
For many U.S. employers, this policy will mean continued bottlenecks, reduction in premium processing, increased scrutiny of every single application, and increased costs.
If you are an employer in Connecticut and have questions about how to handle the employment of foreign workers or have questions about other labor and employment law issues, contact the attorneys at Kainen, Escalera & McHale. We do one thing and one thing only – we are an employer defense law firm – in fact, we are one of the largest employer defense law firms in the region. What’s more, each of our attorneys have over 20 years of experience in employment and labor law matters and can provide your business with comprehensive legal counsel ranging from assistance with necessary preventive measures to trial advocacy. Please call us if we can help you.
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