Immigration Reform Executive Action November 20, 2014

Executive Action on Immigration.

On Thursday, November 20, 2014, President Obama laid out his plan to use executive actions to change the U.S. immigration system. These actions may allow up to five million unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U.S. and obtain work permits. In his address, the President stated that he intends to “make it easier and faster for high skilled immigrants, graduates, and entrepreneurs to stay and contribute to our economy, as so many business leaders have proposed.”

As a result we got swamped with the calls from our existing clients and prospective curious individuals.

Please do not think that Executive action is already in place.  There is nothing that can be done right now.  It will take time for the laws to adjust.  Most of the promises mentioned in the executive action are up and in the air and may not even be implemented.

After the speech was over, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Jeh Charles Johnson, published a memorandum addressed to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) directing the agencies to enact new policies and regulations to support high-skilled businesses and workers by better enabling U.S. businesses to hire and retain highly skilled foreign-born workers, while providing these workers with increased flexibility to make career decisions. This Management Alert is intended to inform employers of possible changes to the U.S. immigration system that will impact the hiring and retention of high-skilled foreign born workers.

The changes will probably affect:

1. Clarification of the Meaning of “Specialized Knowledge” in the L-1B Visa

2. Accelerated Filing of Adjustment of Status Applications

3. Increased Worker Portability

4. Visa Modernization

5. H-4 Spousal Work Authorization

6. Extension of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for Certain Foreign Students

7. Enhancement of Opportunities for Foreign Inventors, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs

8. Department of Labor Review of PERM Program

9. New Interagency Worksite Enforcement Group

10. New Work Permits and I-9 Issues