Although there is pending litigation to put a halt to President Obama’s plan to amend the immigration system through executive action, the plan has made progress over the last two months.
- USCIS has published on its website the requirements for expanded DACA and for DAPA — the new policy for parent. Go to: www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction. Interested applicants are urged to begin gathering documents establishing residence in the U.S.
- There is a proposed regulation to provide work authorization to H-4 spouses. Go to: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/05/12/2014-10734/employment-authorization-for-certain-h-4-dependent-spouses. This regulation has been “on hold” for many months. But with the push for immigration improvement, all that needs to happen now is for USCIS to publish the final rule. We are watching this closely.
- PERM (Labor Certification) modernization is getting attention as well. The Department of Labor is soliciting ideas from attorneys and employers on how to improve the labor certification process. DOL also has scheduled a stakeholders listening call to take place in late January, whereby DOL will engage in dialogue with stakeholders and listen to our suggestions for improvement.
- Bill H.R. 213 was introduced by Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants and increase family preference visas. This bill has bipartisan support with Representative Zoe Lofgren and Representative Raul Labrador as original co-sponsors. What a fix to the immigration system this would provide. The immigrant visa backlog, including EB-3 India, would advance significantly.
These are just a few of the recent government actions to improve the immigration system. We will keep you updated. And by the way, we do not expect the pending litigation to be successful!