H1-B workers – Recent Developments:
On April 3, 2017, the USCIS sent out a memo stating that it intends to crack down on companies who have a large number of H-1B workers. They are doing this to target companies who are outsourcing their industry. One Indian American Attorney argues that H-1B workers often start new businesses and create more jobs for the American people. Over the past few months the Trump administration has stated that they believe that H-1B workers often displace U.S. workers. The USCIS claims that “too many American workers who are qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged.”
The USCIS has created an email address for both American and foreign workers to report employer fraud and abuse. An example of abuse is “wage disparity between an H-1B worker and his U.S. counterpart at the same company.” Another indication of fraud is an H-1B worker who has less experience than U.S. workers in similar positions at the same company. Many Indian Americans are given H-1B visas. This year the USCIS expects over than 200,000 applications for H-1B visas. They also plan to create a website for people to learn more about H-1B visas.
Source: “USCIS States Intention to Clamp Down on H-1B Visa Fraud by Employers,” by Sunita Sohrabji, on indiawest.com.
A few weeks ago, Federal immigration officers arrested five people in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They were arrested after showing up for scheduled appointments at a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office. Three of the people arrested were beginning the process to become legal permanent residents. ICE said that there were orders for the agency to detain all five of the people for deportation. With Trump as president, there are new deportation priorities. A local attorney called the situation for immigrants a catch-22. This is because if they don’t show up for the interview, it is called abandoned, In addition, if they do show up now, and are detained, they can be removed.
Local attorneys say that they find the arrests both troubling and surprising. “The detention of an individual under these circumstances and most likely the arrest would be something that is definitely new,” says one of the local attorneys. Under the Obama administration, ICE officers were not instructed to arrest or detain individuals under these circumstances. Now people who are eligible to get there green card, following the law, following the rules, and are doing what the government is telling them to do, are at risk of being detained.
Source: “ICE Arrests Green Card Applicants In Lawrence, Signaling Shift in Priorities.”