Archives: Legislation

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E-1/E-2 Treaty Visas Option for New Zealanders

The U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott P. Brown, has announced that eligible New Zealand nationals may apply for E-1/E-2 Treaty Investor Visas: “We’ve listened. And as of June 10, New Zealand business owners and New Zealand citizens essential to those companies are going to be able to reside and work in the United States … Continue Reading

UPDATE: House Passes Bill on DACA, Unlikely To Be Taken up by Senate

We wrote yesterday on the U.S. Supreme Court declining to expedite review of DACA, as well as the recent and current legislative activity regarding the program. Later in the day on June 4th,  the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Dream and Promise Act which would grant permanent residence status and a path to citizenship … Continue Reading

Bill in Congress Aimed at Protecting H-4 Employment as Program Rescission Progresses

Concerns regarding the rescission of the H-4 EAD Rule have heightened in the wake of the publication of the Department of Homeland Security’s Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda. In response, two California congresswomen, Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Cal.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Cal.), reintroduced a bill to protect those work authorizations – The H-4 Employment Protection Act. Both … Continue Reading

Trump Introduces Outlines of Immigration Reform in Advance of 2020 Campaign

President Donald Trump has introduced the broad outlines of his proposal for immigration reform. The “merit and heart system” focuses on security and establishing a more fully merit-based system for permanent residence (“green card”) status. What do we know about the proposal so far? In terms of security, it includes: Construction of parts of the … Continue Reading

New Legislation Offered to Extend and Expand Conrad 30 Waiver Program

Since at least 2013, there have been efforts to make the Conrad 30 J-1 visa waiver program for physicians permanent. But that has not happened and it continues to be necessary to reauthorize the program every year. This year, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Angus King (I-ME) and Charles Grassley … Continue Reading

Full Enforcement of REAL ID Act Set for October 1, 2020

Because some of the 9/11 terrorists used fraudulent driver’s licenses to travel, Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005 to comply with the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government establish minimum standards for the issuance of forms of identification, such as state driver’s licenses. After many starts, stops, and delays, the deadline set … Continue Reading

DHS and Other Agencies Announce Contest for Solutions to Detect Opioid in the Mail

There has been ongoing debate about how to stop the opioid crisis in the United States. To stem the flow of illegal drugs through the mail, DHS Science and Technology Directorate, in collaboration with CBP, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, has launched the Opioid Detection Challenge, a … Continue Reading

Crackdown on Birth Tourism Industry in U.S. Continues with First-Ever Arrests of Operators

Traveling to the U.S. to give birth to a U.S.-citizen child, or birth tourism, is not a new industry. In January 2018, DHS raided 20 “maternity hotels” in Los Angeles suspected of housing “birth tourism” operations. A neighbor who lived near one of the apartment buildings reported that “a forklift delivered an excessive quantity of … Continue Reading

Bill to Eliminate Per-Country Caps on Green Cards Re-Introduced

Prior to the government shutdown, it seemed that the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act might pass as an amendment to the spending package with strong bipartisan support. But that was not to be. Now members of the U.S. House and Senate, led by Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), have again introduced … Continue Reading

Will Ending Government Shutdown Turn on DACA?

Is it possible that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program might be the key to ending the government shutdown? A DACA-for-border-funding compromise that was taken off the table a year ago is again being talked about by some lawmakers. Here is an update on where DACA stands. On September 5, 2017, then-Attorney General … Continue Reading

Irish Government Opposes Restoring Right to Birthright Citizenship, Despite Popular Support

As President Donald Trump talks about ending birthright citizenship with an executive order, the Irish public is talking about restoring birthright citizenship. Ireland ended the right to birthright citizenship in 2004 with a referendum. A proposed law would give anyone born in Ireland the right to Irish citizenship with one requirement – the individual must … Continue Reading

U.S. May Eliminate Per-Country Caps on Employment Visas

A potentially significant bill eliminating the per-country caps on employment-based visas may become law. H.R. 392, Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, first introduced in 2017, had 300 co-sponsors. It is now championed by outgoing Representative Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) as an amendment to the spending package that Congress likely will pass this year. The bill means … Continue Reading

Other Countries Lay Out Welcome Mat to International Entrepreneurs as U.S. Draws Back

While the Trump Administration is making it more difficult and less attractive for entrepreneurs to start their businesses in the United States (in the name of “Buy American and Hire American”), other countries are rolling out the welcome mat to entrepreneurs. In May 2018, the Administration proposed a rule to remove President Obama’s International Entrepreneur … Continue Reading

DACA Litigation and Legislation Update

DACA was set to terminate on March 5, 2018, based on President Donald Trump’s September 2017 announcement. To avoid the termination, the President challenged Congress to negotiate a legislative solution for the Dreamers. Negotiations ensued, but so did litigation and the issuance of an injunction. A federal court ordered DHS to continue to accept DACA … Continue Reading

H-2B Visa Shortage and Other Immigration Issues Hold Up U.S. Budget as Deadline Nears

The H-2B visa shortage continues, impacting thousands of U.S. businesses around the country. H-2B visas are used widely in hospitality and tourism, landscaping and the construction industry to hire foreign workers for temporary nonagricultural work.  There are 66,000 available annually – half for the winter season and half for the summer season. The first step … Continue Reading

Second Federal Court Injunction Issued to Keep DACA in Place, Fate Remains Uncertain

Following January’s ruling by Judge William Alsup in San Francisco, a second federal court has issued a nationwide injunction ordering the government to keep DACA in place.  Judge Nicolas G. Garaufis of the US District Court in Brooklyn, New York ruled that the rescission of DACA was “arbitrary and capricious” and that the equities and … Continue Reading

Surge of ICE Raids Expected in California Following State Adoption of Immigration Laws

California seems to be at odds with the Trump Administration over many subjects, including the legalization of marijuana, the expansion of off-shore drilling, the elimination of state and local tax deductions, and immigration. The most recent clash over immigration began with the passage in October of “The California Values Act” (CVA) (SB54) and the Immigrant … Continue Reading

Streamlined, Bipartisan Immigration Bill Offered to Resolve DACA Dilemma

With the February 8th deadline for debate on DACA imminent and the March 5th DACA termination deadline approaching, legislators have been introducing bills to resolve the long-standing “Dreamer” issue. Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Christopher Coons (D-Del.) have introduced a simplified measure combining DACA and border security. It would grant permanent legal status to more … Continue Reading

‘I-Squared’ Bill Would Change H-1B and Other Immigration Programs

While the Administration and Congress work to reconcile the needs of DACA recipients with concerns over border security and illegal immigration, Senators Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) have introduced a bill to reform immigration programs for high-skilled workers. If the bill passes, it would go a long way to maintaining U.S. competitiveness in … Continue Reading

House Bill to Add Obligations for Employers Dependent on H-1B Visas Moves Forward

A bi-partisan House panel has approved the “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,” a bill that would change eligibility requirements for exemption from the standard Labor Condition Application (LCA) requirement for H-1B-dependent employers. This is the first step in making it to the floor of Congress for a vote. Employers who depend on the H-1B … Continue Reading

Mandatory E-Verify under Consideration in Congress

Every employer in the United States would be required to use E-Verify to determine whether employees are authorized to work if “The Legal Workforce Act of 2017” (LWA) is passed. Supported by President Donald Trump and introduced by Representatives Lamar Smith (R-Tex.) and Ken Calvert (R-Cal.) to “turn off the jobs and benefits magnet” that … Continue Reading

New California Laws Provide Protections to Immigrant Employees

On October 5, 2017, California Governor Jerry Brown signed 11 bills essentially making California a sanctuary state.  The California Values Act (SB 54) aims to protect undocumented immigrants living in California.  Brown stated that “this bill strikes a balance that will protect public safety while bringing a measure of comfort to those families who are … Continue Reading
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