Foreign students wishing to study in this country may have whiplash over the Trump Administration’s many moves.

Early in 2020, a federal court blocked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from changing the rules regarding duration of status admission to the United States. Under the Trump Administration’s proposed policy, students might unknowingly accumulate unlawful presence and become subject to the three- and ten-year bars to admission. The Court found the policy violated not only the Administrative Procedures Act (APA), but also the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Colleges hoped the Administration would not appeal the decision and put foreign students back into limbo. But the Administration did appeal. Then, at the end July, the Administration unexpectedly withdrew its appeal. That may just mean, however, that the Administration is planning to try a different route to achieve its goals.

Proposed rules changing unlawful presence calculations, changing the duration of status designation, establishing a fixed time period for admission, and reforming practical training options have been on the DHS’s regulatory agenda for some time. When the Spring 2020 Regulatory Agenda appeared (late) on June 30, 2020, those proposed rules were all there again – scheduled for publication by the end of 2020. While the schedules set out in regulatory agendas are frequently aspirational, with the presidential election looming, the Administration may want to fast track some of these agenda items.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Administration has taken 740 administrative actions thus far. Some actions it would like to make permanent. In the proclamations the President issued in April and June 2020 that block the entry of immigrants and non-immigrants in H, L, and J status, the Secretaries of State, Homeland Security, and Labor were ordered to issue regulations to ensure foreign nationals would not disadvantage U.S. workers. Regulations regarding student status and student work authorization could fall into that category, along with regulations tightening H-1B requirements and removing H-4 EADs.

Jackson Lewis attorneys will continue to follow these developments and provide updates as they become available.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.