Earlier this month, USCIS Director Francis Cissna, in a letter to Sen. Grassley (R-IA), described a number of forthcoming policies aimed at restricting the H-1B. Dir. Cissna’s policy changes hide behind fraud concerns. The real target is reducing legal immigration.
The new restrictions that USCIS plans to unilaterally impose include:
- Rewrite the definition of “Specialty Occupation”. USCIS will rewrite the definition of specialty occupation. Under the current “bottom-up” approach, US employers decide who comes to America. The agency’s “big government” rewrite will create more regulation, more USCIS officer discretion, and less accountability for USCIS officers. These policies are being produced because the administration thinks that it knows who are the “best and brightest,” instead of the marketplace.
- Denying spouses from Working In The United States: USCIS’ long-rumored plan to eliminate H-4 EADs was announced in the USCIS’ semiannual regulatory agenda.
- Ratcheting up third-party worksite H-1B denials. Despite no objective evidence that fraud exists in third-party staffing situations, USCIS seeks to ask for additional evidence that it does not ask for in first-party worksite assignments. This issue seems ripe for litigation. It seems inevitable that an H-1B employer will successfully challenge the Service’s overreaching requests in this area.