DHS Announces Significant Changes to H-1B Cap Selection Process

On January 8, 2021, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule that significantly alters the longstanding randomized lottery process that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has utilized to select H-1B cap-based petitions.

New California Form Helps Employers Comply With Immigrant Worker Protection Act

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has released a template notice form to help employers comply with the posting requirements under California Labor Code section 90.2(a)(1), also known as the Immigrant Worker Protection Act or AB 450, which requires employers in California to notify their workforces within 72 hours of any immigration law compliance inspection or audit initiated by federal agencies.

President Trump Establishes National Vetting Center to Further “Extreme Vetting” Plan

On February 6, 2018, President Trump issued a national security presidential memorandum directing the establishment of a vetting center to promote border and immigration security and ensure the safety and security of the United States. The National Vetting Center’s mission is to coordinate and streamline vetting efforts to identify individuals who present a threat to national security, border security, homeland security, or public safety. President Trump has repeatedly voiced his support for increased vetting procedures to protect the American people from terrorist attacks and other public safety threats. This memorandum serves as the president’s latest effort to fulfill his campaign promise of imposing “extreme vetting” on individuals entering the United States.

Administration Clarifies and Limits Searches of Electronic Devices at Border

On January 4, 2018, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) issued Directive 3340-049A, governing border searches of electronic devices. CBP’s new directive updates and provides several improvements over the agency’s initial directive, published nine years ago, regarding the policies and procedures for border searches of electronic devices conducted in furtherance of CBP’s mission. CBP has implemented several key changes that aim to provide travelers with more clarity and protections regarding the procedures for electronic device searches; however, the numerous exceptions included in the new directive may, in practice, allow CBP to bypass some of these protections.

Senators Propose Bipartisan Bill to Secure Relief for DREAMers

On December 9, 2016, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced bipartisan legislation that would provide DREAMers with employment authorization and temporary protection from removal. The term “DREAMers” refers to young people who were brought to the United States, as children, without authorization. The bill has been named the BRIDGE Act, which stands for “Bar Removal of Immigrants who Dream and Grow the Economy.” Ultimately, the BRIDGE Act is an effort to codify President Obama’s 2012 DACA initiative in the face of anticipated restrictionist changes that President Donald Trump is widely expected to undertake.

New “Smart” I-9 Form Becomes Mandatory on January 22, 2017

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that starting January 22, 2017, all employers in the United States will be required to use the new version of the Form I-9 exclusively to conduct employment eligibility verification. The latest revisions to the Form I-9 were approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on August 25, 2016. The approved I-9 revisions include both “smart” features and content-based changes. The smart features will allow users to access and fill out a smart Form I-9 on USCIS’s website. The content-based revisions to the Form I-9 add new fields and update the language found in other fields.