Monthly Archives: November 2009

H-1B CAP UPDATE – 11/27/09

The USCIS has received 58,900 H-1B cap petitions for FY-2010 by November 28, 2009.  This represents an additional 2000 H-1B petitions filed as compared with just a week earlier.  There are not expected to be many more, if any, available H-1Bs by the time January 2010 rolls around. 

As of April 1, 2010, employers can start filing for the 2011 fiscal year which begins October 1, 2010.  There are also a variety of cap-exempt H-1B petitions that are not subject to the numerical limitation of 65,000 annually.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

TRANSITION TO U.S. IMMIGRATION LAW BEGINS IN THE CNMI

According to a USCIS Press Release:  “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) today announced that at 12:01 a.m. (CNMI local time/GMT +10.) tomorrow, Nov. 28, the immigration laws of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) will be replaced by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and other U.S. immigration laws. The definition of “United States” in the INA simultaneously will be amended to include the CNMI—providing new privileges and easing restrictions to CNMI residents wishing to live and work in the United States.”

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

LOU DOBBS SUPPORTS LEGALIZING MILLIONS OF UNDOCUMENTED

According to an article on wsj.com:  “Friday, Mr. Dobbs told Spanish-language network Telemundo he now supports a plan to legalize millions of undocumented workers, a stance he long lambasted as an unfair ‘amnesty.'”

This would be comical if it were not for the damage caused by years of his relentless anti-immigration broadcasts.  My anger towards Dobbs’ nightly rants against undocumented aliens is literally what inspired me to create this blog as a place to share another point of view.  A search of “Dobbs” using the search feature to the left will display twenty entries that mention the former CNN anchor. 

He may be a political novice but this about-face on immigration shows that Dobbs is a fast learner.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

FY-2010 H-1Bs GOING, GOING…STILL A FEW LEFT

According to the USCIS, as of November 20, 2009, 56,900 H-1B cap cases were received by the agency for FY-2010.  The 20,000 “master cap” has been exhausted for some time.  Therefore all cap-subject H-1B petitions received by the USCIS will be applied toward the general cap.  Will the FY-2010 cap be exhausted before calendar year 2010 begins?  Wait and see.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

WILL HEALTH CARE REFORM PAVE THE WAY FOR COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM?

Tonight the US Senate will be voting to debate the controversial Health Care Reform bill.  This is another step toward passage of an overhaul of the nation’s health insurance system.  Just weeks ago, critics contended that it was next to impossible for this to occur. 

Meanwhile, on the immigration front, advocates and some members of congress are hard at work holding meetings and moving forward with plans for comprehensive immigration reform.  USCIS is preparing for millions of additional petitions/applications as though an immigration overhaul is a fait-accompli. 

Although I for one fully support comprehensive immigration reform as the current system is broken and is in desperate need of drastic changes, I believe it will be an uphill battle to pass such reform in 2010.  The reasons afor my skepticism are two-fold, high national unemployment and the 2010 mid-term elections. 

If a proposal to legalize undocumented aliens were to be based on employment there would be political heat for foreign-nationals “taking American jobs”.  Moreover, the difficulties aliens would face in finding employer sponsors and lengthy delays in the labor certification process would mean that many undocumented aliens would not avail themselves of such a program. 

The mid-term elections may be a red herring although the political threat of supporting so-called “amnesty” has scared politicians in the past.  In past elections, it was those congressional representatives who vocally opposed immigration reform and made it the center-pieces of tehir campaigns who lost their districts for the most part.  Furthermore, with Lou Dobbs off of CNN every weeknight spewing anti-immigration propaganda, some representatives may feel less political pressure to pander to the vocal, anti-immigration minority.

Health Care Reform seemed like an impossible dream, attempts at passage have failed in the past.  As time moves on however, passage of this law seems ever more likely.  Sounds very much like the story of immigration reform.  2010 promises to be an interesting year.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

PERM UPDATE

It seems that my most popular blog entries seems to be the anecdotal and rarely official information relating to the DOL’s PERM program and in particular the time lines for the agency to adjudicate applications.  Below is the latest I have found.

1.  New PERM ETA 9089 Form and system expected to be launched on July 1, 2010;

2.  The percentage of employer applications for permanent labor certification resolved within six months of initial filing is 17% for the quarter ending 6/30/09 as compared with 94% for the quarter that ending 6/30/08. (Source:  AILA InfoNet Doc No: 09111063 (Posted 11/10/09)).

3.  Cases that are audited are generally taking approximately 2 years from the date they were filed to be adjudicated.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

25,000 H-1B INSPECTIONS PLANNED

According to an article on computerworld.com:  “U.S. immigration officials are taking H-1B enforcement from the desk to the field with a plan to conduct 25,000 on-site inspections of companies hiring foreign workers over this fiscal year.”

Inspections are conducted by contractors who may ask to:  tour the business, view employee documentation, ask questions of the H-1B petition signatory and/or the beneficiary.  The government is of the opinion that they are entitled to conduct these inspections without a warrant or notice to the empployer.  This notion has not been challenged to date.  Employers may want to contact their immigration counsel to at least be present on speaker phone during the interview.

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

LOU DOBBS CONTEMPLATING RUN FOR PRESIDENT, SENATE?

According to an article on reuters.com:  “A week after abruptly quitting his longtime job as a CNN television news host and commentator, Lou Dobbs said on Thursday he is considering career options including possible runs for the White House or U.S. Senate.”

Let us hope that immigration reform is passed before Dobbs throws his hat in the political arena.  While at CNN, Dobbs was a controversial figure that many individuals and organizations viewed as anti-immigration. 

This seems like an effort on Dobbs’ part to remain in the public eye, increase ratings for his radio show and keep the immigration issue front and center during the next few election cycles. 

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.

ICE ANNOUNCES 1000 WORKPLACE AUDITS

According to US ICE:  “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Assistant Secretary John Morton today announced the issuance of Notices of Inspection (NOIs) to 1,000 employers across the country associated with critical infrastructure-alerting business owners that ICE will audit their hiring records to determine compliance with employment eligibility verification laws.”

Please visit our website at www.immigrantconnect.com.