What We’re Watching: Trump Administration Delays Its Plan to Eliminate EADs

The Trump Administration has provided a significant, albeit indirect, update to its plans regarding the elimination of H4 EADs.

Update:  Within the context ongoing litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, DHS filed a Status Update Report on February 28, 2018 in which it stated that “significant revisions to the draft proposal [to stop issuing H-4 EADs] were necessary” and that the revisions would require additional economic analysis.  DHS now anticipates publishing the new rule for notice and comment in June 2018.

EIG Analysis:  Once the new rule is published (now expected in June 2018, but may be pushed later) the public will have time to review the proposal and provide feedback to the government. EIG now expects the final rule, which must, by law, address public comments, to be issued in the fall.

Background:  In December 2017, the Trump Administration revealed its intent to eliminate H4 EADs. These proposals came to light through a review of the Administration’s semiannual regulatory agenda published by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.  The published proposals indicated that additional details would be provided sometime in February 2018. This anticipated timeline has now been revised and pushed out several months.

Save Jobs USA v. DHS:  The H4 EAD rule was already an issue in an ongoing federal lawsuit in which the Department of Homeland Security is a defendant.  In an Order dated February 21, 2018, the Court, in this case, held the proceedings in abeyance, temporarily suspending, the proceedings based on DHS’ representation that it was planning on issuing a notice to remove H4 EADs in February 2018.  Given this revised timeline, we expect the Court to continue to keep the case on hold to provide the administration additional time to evaluate policy options.

EIG is monitoring this situation closely and will provide additional updates as soon as they become available.