November/December Immigration Update
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November/December Immigration Update

USCIS has noted High Rate of H-1B Visa Fraud

Upon analysis, it was noted by the USCIS that 13% of H-1B visa petitions for United
States employers are fraudulent. Thus, the USCIS anticipates making procedural changes while also paying closer attention to instances of abuse that prevail toward workers that are employed on H-1B visas.

Approximately 300 Arrested by ICE Agents During Search of South Carolina
Poultry Plant

As ICE agents have already been inspecting the Columbia Farms poultry processing plant
for ten months now, they recently implemented a new search warrant that aims to
examine employees more intently to ultimately uncover unauthorized workers and illegal
aliens. This intensified search operation has already charged 11 supervisors and have
arrested nearly 300 illegal aliens.  ICE reasons that since it is for employment purposes that most illegal immigrants flock to the United States, it is only by holding employers liable that any noticeable change is
going to be made.

DOS Publishes Final Rule Requiring Certification of Certain Foreign Health
Care Workers

As of October 20, 2008, the DOS put into effect a final rule concerning the issuance of
visas to specific health care workers. This rule adopts as final without change the Department’s interim rule published on December 17, 2002, at 67 FR 77158. The rule changes the requirements pertaining to the issuance of visas to certain health care workers. Certain foreign healthcare workers now need to present certificates establishing competency in a specific healthcare field. Certification is issued by the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) or other credentialing organizations that have been approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). This rule facilitates greater uniformity between the regulations of DHS and the Department of State.

Update on New TN Regulation

If all of the TN regulations are met: all TN petitions that are received on or post October 16, 2008 will be granted for either the length of time they are filed for or for a three year period-depending on whichever interval is shorter.

Highlights of Fiscal Year (FY) 2008: PERM Certifications

As nearly 49,205 out of 220,883 applicants were accredited during the first quarter of FY
2008, there were five main states in which these permanent labor approvals were granted
to, including California, New York, New Jersey, Texas, and Florida. The job titles for the
aforementioned certifications range anywhere from Computer System Analysts to
Restaurant Cooks.

How Does the 2008 Supplemental final DHS rule about Social Security “no-
match” letters affect the federal lawsuit and injunction?

The DHS released an update concerning what an employer is to do when the Social
Security Administration sends them a “no match” letter about one of their employees.
The update reaffirms that as long as any given employer abides by the guidelines
outlined by DHS, the employer will have a defense against allegations of knowingly hiring undocumented workers. As this rule was to take effect in August 2007, it was delayed until September, but was ultimately preliminarily enjoined in October 2007 by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and this preliminary injunction remains in effect until today. By doing this, the court forbids the DHS from implementing its aforementioned rule with the intent to mail no-match letters. This preliminary injunction will stay in effect until otherwise ruled by the court.

Increase in the Number of Deportations

It has been observed that there has been a noticeably sharp increase in the number of
amount of deportations of illegal aliens in the year 2008, summing up to 345,000 which
contrasts with the 288,000 figure reached in the 2007. The current intensification of
immigration enforcement mechanisms is being correlated with the amplification of the
Criminal Alien Program, which essentially aims to pinpoint criminal illegal aliens
employed within any level of the United State’s economic system. As some people link
ICE’s exaggerated commitment to drive out illegal aliens to the terrorism witnessed in
2001, still others feel that their efforts are using far too many resources that may be
allocated elsewhere in a time of economic crisis.

This information is not intended to provide solutions to individual problems and does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Readers are cautioned not to attempt to solve individual problems on the basis of information contained herein and are strongly advised to seek competent legal counsel before relying on this information. The above information should not be construed as legal advice. Please note that laws change frequently.