EIG Dispatch | September 12, 2017

Feature Story: Teachers Would Slip Through Cracks of New Immigration Plan

Upcoming Webinar: “We Need To Talk: Catching Up On The Past Months Key Immigration Developments”

USCIS News: USCIS Closes Offices Due to Hurricanes Harvey & Irma

DC Insights: Government Funding Extended

Headlines: Germany Gives New Options for Intra Company Transfer Status/  Modified Visitor Registration for Chennai/ UK Brexit- Draft Policy Paper Reveals a Potential Future

From The Desk Of…

This week we have the second in a series of articles from our firm’s leaders. Today, we feature excerpts from an OpEd written by Hiba Anver, Lead Attorney, EIG Immigrant Visa Group. The full article was published by Law360 on September 8, 2017.

Teachers Would Slip Through Cracks Of New Immigration Plan

On August 2, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his support for the Reform American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, a bill introduced by Republican Sens. Tom Cotton, R- Ark., and David Perdue, R-Ga. The act replaces the current employer-sponsored green card process with a points system that awards points based on education, English proficiency, age and salary. An immigrant must earn at least 30 points in order to qualify for a U.S. green card.

The purported goal is to limit unskilled immigrants from taking jobs, driving down wages, burdening the economy, and exploiting the welfare system. This bill seems to speak directly to those individuals that believe that companies are overlooking American workers and opting instead to offer the same jobs to unskilled immigrants at a lower salary. Under this system, unskilled immigrants earning a low salary cannot accept permanent employment because they will not qualify for a green card.

Along with its flawed logic (restricting immigration will not help wage stagnation), misinformation (new immigrants do not immediately collect welfare), and arguable favoritism (abolishing the diversity lottery but rewarding English proficiency) there are gaping holes in terms of how points are awarded. Immigrants with a variety of essential skills will slip through the cracks in a way that is contrary to the act’s own goals. For example: public school teachers. The U.S. is experiencing major teacher shortages. These shortages have been reported in every state. The shortages are so critical that some states have expanded emergency permits to allow the hiring of untrained teachers. Many school districts have sponsored immigration for foreign-born teachers to recruit qualified candidates to fill the void. These foreign-born teachers have played a critical role in American schools. Some states, like California, would experience a “supply disaster” if unable to rely on foreign-born teachers. However, awarding points on salary will make it extremely difficult for public school teachers to qualify for a green card under the proposed system.

Salary, age, education and English proficiency do not determine how capable someone is of contributing to our economy, or society. Granted, the current employer-sponsored green card system divides immigrants based on level of education, but it doesn’t restrict eligibility based on education. Granted, the current employer-sponsored green card requires that immigrants earn a certain minimum salary. If the salary is too low, then it’s the job offer that doesn’t qualify under the current rules, not the immigrant. If we implement a system that restricts people based on these criteria, then more and more valuable members of society will continue to slip through the cracks.

Please join EIG’S webinar “We Need To Talk: Catching Up On The Past Months Key Immigration Developments” on Thursday, September 14 1:00 PM EDT

Join EIG Attorneys As We Discuss:

  • New Interview Requirements for Green Card Applications
  • New Travel Restrictions on Advanced Parole
  • DACA Developments

Please register here.

Latest USCIS News

USCIS Closes Offices Due to Hurricanes Harvey & Irma. Following several closings in response to Hurricane Harvey, USCIS’s Field and Asylum Offices in Houston, Texas resumed normal operations on September 11, 2017. However, USCIS recently notified the public of additional closings due to the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.  Several offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina will be closed through September 13, 2017, with only a limited number of offices within the affected regions expected to be open for service. As previously reported, interview and biometrics appointments will be automatically rescheduled, while individuals who have an InfoPass or other appointments will need to reschedule on their own. If a notice of confirmation has not been received within 3 weeks of rescheduling, please contact the National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.

DC Insights: What We Learned in the Past 7 Days

Government Funding Extended for Immigration Programs. On September 8, 2017, the “Continuing Appropriations Act” was signed into law following nationwide disaster relief efforts. Among other provisions, H.R. 601 continues the funding of several key immigration programs covered by the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2017 including E-Verify, EB-5, Conrad 30, and Religious Workers through December 8, 2017.

Headlines: Immigration News from Around the World

Germany Announces New Options for Intra Company Transfer Status. Germany has announced new options for companies bringing current employees to Germany as Intra-Corporate transfers (ICT). These new options supplement current German work permit options, which remain available. The options include an ICT permit for employees assigned to positions solely in Germany, and a Mobile ICT permit allowing hands on work in Germany for up to 90 days for individuals with ICT permits issued by other EU countries. In addition, those with ICT permits from other EU countries may work in Germany for up to 90 days with just a short pre-entry government notification.

Long-term Visitor Registration Requirements Modified for Chennai. In most cities in India, foreigners arriving in for a stay of more than 180 days or with a visa bearing the note “FOR registration required” must register with the Foreigners Regional Registration Officer (FRRO) within 14 days of their arrival. Under new rules for Chennai, registration of foreigners must occur within 24 hours through an online form completed by the foreign national’s accommodation manager or landlord. This applies to those in India on an employment visa, OCI card, or other long-term stay.

UK Brexit – Draft Policy Paper Reveals a Potential Future. On September 5, 2017, The Guardian, a UK publication, leaked a draft Home Office policy paper outlining one proposed option for post-Brexit UK immigration policy. The proposed immigration policy outlined in the paper is not significantly different than the policy paper issued by the UK government on June 26, 2017, and indicates that UK leaders intend to provide a path to long-term status for EU nationals already living in the UK and intend to modify the UK immigration system to emphasize high skilled immigration. Brexit negotiations are expected to last until 2019.