For the past several years, like other immigration lawyers, I have watched the actions of the current administration with great concern. Wanting to take some action, however small, I have decided to start a monthly newsletter. The goal will be to keep my readers up-to-date on current events in the world of immigration law and policy, to analyze some issues more deeply, and to provide historical context where it is relevant. This is my inaugural issue; you have been chosen to receive it because I believe that you will have an interest in the subject, and I’m testing the idea out. I hope you enjoy it.
Proposal To Raise H-1B Filing Fees In The Face Of Decline In USCIS Service
A November 14, 2019 Proposed Rule issued by USCIS maintained that the filing fee for I-129s, the form used for H-1B visas, should go up by approximately 50%. This proposal comes at a time when CIS processing times have slowed dramatically. Worse still, USCIS has created a “paper wall” by revising internal policies and then using those revisions to deny H-1Bs at unprecedented rates (see Mother Jones report). Many of the decisions have been appealed, resulting in the denials being overturned, also at an unprecedented rate. This is not surprising given that USCIS, by way of example, denied an H-1B filed for a Mechanical Engineer position where the foreign national had a degree in Mechanical Engineering; USCIS found that the employer had not established that a minimum of a BA degree was required for the job.
History Repeats Itself
An article in the Huffington Post, appearing on November 24, 2019, is a “must read” for anyone who feels that our country’s immigration policy has shifted dramatically notwithstanding the fact that no new legislation has been passed. The article reports on how a small group of anti-immigration hardliners has managed to drastically reduce even legal immigration. This was done without the approval of either political party. The article also chronicles the history of immigration in the US, shining a bright light on the fact that history does, in fact, repeat itself.