US Labor and Immigration Agencies Team Up on H-1B Enforcement

Summary: On Friday, USCIS announced via a tweet that the agency had “entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the US Department of Labor to provide access and share information about immigrant and nonimmigrant petition records and data contained within the Office of Foreign Labor Certification.” The tweet continues, “This combined effort further enhances the federal government’s ability to crackdown on US employers exploiting the H-1B temporary worker program & discriminating against an American labor force significantly impacted by COVID-19.”

Under the agreement, DHS and DOL will both pursue fraud investigations for the H-1B visa program. As part of USCIS’s adjudication process, the agency will refer suspected violators to the DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification for site visits.

This agreement stems from President Trump’s immigrant proclamation (June 22), which suspended entry to certain temporary work visa holders through the rest of the year. The proclamation allows the labor secretary, Eugene Scalia, to make use of enforcement powers. This is the first time the Department of Labor will have accessed this information for enforcement purposes.

Erickson Immigration Group is closely monitoring and will provide an update should USCIS announce any changes.