Monday, November 30, 2015


AMN Healthcare, one of the largest healthcare staffing companies in the US, has recently issued a survey that shows that almost two out of every three baby boomer nurses are contemplating recruitment.  A summary of the survey is on the Staffing Industry Analyst’s webpage.
The main take-away:

Of those nurses over 54 who are considering retirement, 62% plan to retire within the next three years. Additionally, 21% of nurses over age 54 said they will switch to part time work.

Paralleling this massive downturn in US healthcare workers is an expected boom in America’s demand for healthcare services.  The number of uninsured has dropped by millions since the passage of the Affordable Car Act (Obamacare).  Foreign labor must be part of this answer.  Unfortunately the current immigration scheme makes it very difficult to navigate a reasonable strategy.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Sens. Grassley (R-IA) and Durbin (D-IL) have reproposed a bill aimed at curbing H-1B usage.  The bill creates an H-1B system that greatly expands the regulatory environment surrounding H-1B visas.  Sen. Grassley's bill makes a number of changes to the H-1B system.

Sen. Grassley believes that the H-1B visa is used to replace US workers.  He has long cited a 2008 USCIS Report as evidence of fraud in the H-1B program.  To date, exactly zero prosecutions have resulted from this flimsy report. 

Sen. Grassley proposed bill sets forth a system where employers would have to register and re-register with various government agencies.  It would limit certain employers from hiring H-1B workers and increase enforcement. 

Sen. Grassley’s bill will surely restrict H-1B workers.  It is not clear that it will help US workers.  Any credible study points out that the H-1B usage mirrors the US employment rateThe Economist has picked up on this finding.  A better approach is to ask why US workers no longer move for better opportunities, since most H-1B employer’s value H-1B workers geographical flexibility. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The Department of State has just issued the December 2015 Visa Bulletin. Here 
is MU Law's analysis of this latest Visa Bulletin.

December 2015 Visa Bulletin

Final Action Dates

Employment- Based
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed

MU Law Analysis
All: No change from Nov 2015 Visa Bulletin, other than a one month improvement in EB-3.
China: EB-2 did not change. EB-3 progressed a few months from Nov 2015 Visa Bulletin, which was 01JAN12.
India: EB-2 jumped again. Two months ago it was 01MAY05. In Nov 2015's Visa Bulletin it was 01AUG06. This trend may continue. EB-3 continued its steady but slow progress.
Mexico: One month gain in EB-3.
Philippines: EB-3 moved ahead six weeks. MU Law believes that Philippines EB-3 will steadily move forward in the coming months. 

Dates of Filing
All Chargeability
Areas Except
Those Listed

MU Law Analysis

The Dates of Filing chart did not change from October or November 2015. This is not a surprise. The USCIS and Department of State have been sued in response to the September 2015 revised Visa Bulletin
Our analysis is the same as our explain in our October 10, 2015 blog post.

Monday, November 9, 2015


Today’s Washington Post outlines the USCIS’ attempts to move out of the paper age and into the electronic age.  After 10 years and a $1 billion, the USCIS has one form on-line, the I-90, which is used to renew a Green Card.  For those unfamiliar with the Form I-90, it is comparable to a driver’s license renewal form.  Ninety-nine other forms remain only available via paper filing. 

The project was originally supposed to be completed by 2013 at a budget of a half-billion dollars.  The USCIS now expects the program to be on-line in 2019 at a cost of $3.1 billion, although if history is any guide it will be years beyond that at a even greater costs.

Part of the problem is the “gotcha” nature of the forms themselves, which is indicative of a tone-deaf USCIS.  The forms often ask irrelevant and unnecessary questions, aimed presumably at tripping up users. 

Instead of focusing on the e-filing initiative, the USCIS chooses to waste time and resources.  For instance, the Simeio Solutions decision in April adds tens of thousands of petitions to the USCIS without any legal necessity.  The entire goal of the decision seems to be to make life difficult for H-1B workers who switch job locations.  There is no evidence that any legitimate policy goal was achieved by the decision.  If anything the decision and the later multiple USCIS Memos that attempted to clarify the decision,  are contrary to President Obama’s attempts to modernize US immigration policy and align it with the real world.

A good program management team would start with the essential questions before building out questions that are not core to the adjudication of the process.  A good program management team would engage users of the forms – immigrants, companies, immigration attorneys. 

Until these stakeholders are regularly engaged, skeptics will continue to criticize.  Until the administration makes it a priority to hold USCIS officials accountable for aimless policy and bloated budgets, the USCIS will continue its bumbling nature.