Friday, April 10, 2009

Update on President Obama's immigration reform proposals

The New York Times reported on Wednesday that President Obama planned to push immigration reform as a priority in 2010. This report generated a lot of comment and controversy, not surprisingly, given that immigration reform is a controversial topic at any time, but especially in a recession. now states that
Multiple Obama administration officials tell CNN that the White House is not pushing to pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill this year.....There are roughly 12 million illegal immigrants in the United States. In addition to making a way for some of them to stay in the country legally, CNN has learned the Obama administration wants to remove incentives to enter the U.S. illegally, beef up border security and work with Mexico to cut down on illegal immigration.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has published a letter commending President Obama on his plans to reform immigration. AILA comments that
Moving forward with comprehensive immigration reform will ensure that all workers are here legally, will punish unscrupulous employers who undercut their honest competitors, and will restore integrity to the labor market. It will lift wages for workers, ensure all workers are paying taxes, restore fairness to our immigration system, and create a level playing field for law-abiding employers. We laud the administration for seeing past the political and emotional rhetoric to the truth that what our country needs to climb out of the crisis toward economic growth and stability.
Links to other online discussions:
Huffington Post
Wall Street Journal (Rahm Emanuel backing immigration reform)
New York Times
Fox News

Photo courtesy of Realjameso16

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Visa Bulletin for May 2009 released

The US Department of State has released the new Visa Bulletin for May 2009. In family-based categories, there is very slight movement forward, but just by a few weeks in most categories. Some categories do not advance at all, but none have retrogressed.

Employment-based categories have not changed for 1st and 2nd preference applicants. However, the entire 3rd preference and Other Workers category is "Unavailable", meaning that nobody in that category can file in May, even with a very old priority date.

Visa Bulletin
Priority Dates and Preference Categories explained

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

H-1B cap may not have been reached yet

USCIS has announced that it is continuing to accept H-1B cases that are subject to the Fiscal Year 2010 cap. This means that the agency might not have received enough petitions within the first few days of filing to reach the quota. If this is the case, this would be the first time in years that the cap was not reached immediately. This also means that any cases received by CIS before today should be accepted for H-1B processing and should not be entered in a random lottery. Any cases received after today may be too late, however we won't know when the cap has been reached until after this happens.

See Press Release here.

For my previous posting about the H-1B cap, click here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Q&A on new I-9 requirements issued by USCIS

As a follow-up to last week's blog posting about the new I-9 requirements starting on April 3, USCIS has released a Question and Answer document for employers here. The Q&A answers questions such as
  • What is the difference between the revised Form I-9 and the old one?
  • Why can’t I present an expired document?
  • As an employer, can I accept documents that used to be on the Form I-9 but aren’t now?
  • Do I need to complete the revised version of the Form I-9 for all my employees or just the new ones?
Previous blog posting: