DHS to Substantially Modify the Current H-1B Program
On October 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a massive overhaul of the H-1B program here in the United States, intending to “protect U.S. workers” and restore “integrity to the H-1B program.” While certain American citizens may welcome the news, this, of course, is not good news for foreign workers who depend on the program to stay and work here in the United States. With the new change, far fewer H-1B visas will be approved. If you believe this may affect you or someone you know, please read on and reach out to our New Jersey employment immigration attorney to learn more about the change.
What will the modifications to the H-1B program mean for me?
Essentially, in the Department of Homeland Security’s briefing to the public, it states that the H-1B program has granted more than 500,000 H-1B nonimmigrants permission to work here in the United States, which has wrongfully displaced American workers who would otherwise be willing to take those jobs. DHS also said that the influx of H-1B workers has led to lower or stagnated wages among American workers. The Trump Administration has been outspoken in its opinion that the H-1B program has been exploited by various employers here in the United States, thus hurting American workers. The language in the new rule states that the meaning of the phrase, “specialty occupation” will be narrowed, meaning fewer types of jobs will qualify as specialty occupations.
Acting Secretary Chad Wolf supports the change, saying in a statement, “We have entered an era in which economic security is an integral part of homeland security. Put simply, economic security is homeland security. In response, we must do everything we can within the bounds of the law to make sure the American worker is put first. He continued: “The Department of Homeland Security is honored to take this important step toward putting Americans first and to continue to implement President Trump’s agenda to keep our economy secure.”
That being said, there are many who oppose this action, among them is Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst at the non-partisan Migration Policy Institute. In a recent statement, she said, “There are many problems with the H-1B program, including that there are instances where H-1B workers are replacing U.S. workers. And that’s a problem that needs to be dealt with. But the Trump administration is dealing with it by punishing all H-1B workers, and especially those that are working in third-party worksites.”
This new law will take effect 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
We understand how much is on the line when clients face matters related to immigration. If you are in need of experienced legal counsel for matters regarding immigration, please contact the Law Offices of Salvatore A. Falletta, LLC and we would be happy to provide you with assistance. Our firm is located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.