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Republicans Fail on Effort to Prevent President Obama from Taking Executive Action on Immigration After Mid-Term Elections in November 2014

On September 18, 2014, the Senate voted on a Republican-led measure to prohibit President Barack Obama from unilaterally granting deportation relief to any undocumented immigrant.

Jackson Lewis Employers’ Immigration Update

ICE Levies $2M Fine against Hotel for I-9 Related Violations A Salt Lake City-based hotel will have to pay nearly $2 million for hiring unauthorized workers, including illegal aliens. The hotel will avoid criminal prosecution in exchange for its full cooperation with a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigation and for taking action to correct its hiring practices. According to the non-prosecution agreement, several lower-level employees and mid-level managers conspired to rehire unauthorized workers amidst an administrative audit of I-9 employee verification forms that began in September 2010. The hotel was notified that 133 employees were not authorized to work in the United States; however, the conspirators created three temporary employment agencies, essentially shell companies, to rehire 43 of the unauthorized, and most of the workers returned under different names using fraudulent identity documents.

Immigration eAuthority (September 2014)

Major Retrogression in the EB-2/India Immigrant Visa Category Expected in the Fall of 2014; Cap-Subject H-1Bs Will Be Effective October 1; USCIS 2014 Ombudsman Annual Report Confirms Increased Scrutiny for L-1 Intracompany Transferrees.

Business Immigration Now: DOJ Issues Guidance on Citizenship/Immigration Status and National Origin Discrimination in Employment

The Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) is responsible for enforcing the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Under this law, employers discriminate when they treat workers differently in the hiring and firing process because a worker is or is not a U.S. citizen, because of a worker’s particular immigration status, or because of where a worker is from or appears to be from. Additionally, employers may not treat workers differently for these reasons when completing the Form I-9 and E-Verify process.

Lesser Known DOL Regulations: "Bona Fide" Terminations for H-1B Workers

It probably falls into the category of cult classic, but one of my favorite movies is 2000’s “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” starring George Clooney. To me, it is the Coen brothers at their finest. Loosely based on Homer’s “Odyssey,” the movie follows Everett McGill (Clooney) and his companions Delmar and Pete in 1930s Mississippi. At one point later in the movie, Everett finds his ex-wife and their kids. His daughter explains that her mom’s new beau is “bona fide:”

New J-1 Waiver Procedures Announced for International Physicians in Minnesota

On August 8, 2014, Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), through the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care, announced new procedures for health care facilities wishing to apply for a J-1 waiver on behalf of prospective international physician employees through the Conrad 30 program.

U.S. State Department Updates Information Regarding Delays in Visa and Passport Processing

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has published updated information regarding the performance issues with the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD). As discussed in our July 24, 2014 Alert, a computer glitch caused the CCD to crash, resulting in world-wide delays in visa and passport processing. The DOS has stated that it has made significant progress and has eliminated most of the worldwide backlog of nonimmigrant visa cases. It will continue to prioritize immigrant visas, adoption cases and emergency nonimmigrant visas. According to the DOS, visa applicants may still experience delays of up to a week in addition to normal processing times.

Department of State Technical Problems May Delay Issuance of Visas

The Department of State (“DOS”) has announced that it has been experiencing technical operational issues with its visa issuance system. The issues affect DOS’ ability to print nonimmigrant visas, commonly known as visa stamps. The issues began on July 20 and, as of July 31, have impacted about half of the individuals seeking nonimmigrant visas abroad. From July 20 through July 28, slightly more than 220,000 nonimmigrant visas were issued globally. DOS stated that it normally issues closer to 425,000 nonimmigrant visas for the same time frame. The issues appear to impact all U.S. Embassies and Consular posts worldwide.

Business Immigration Now: Employers Should Get Ready – President Obama Apparently Planning Steps To Address Immigration Reform

The Associated Press recently reported that White House officials are apparently making plans to act this summer to address immigration reform and possibly grant work permits to potentially millions of immigrants who are currently in the United States without government authorization. President Obama apparently may act to allow undocumented aliens to stay in the United States without threat of deportation, according to advocates and lawmakers with close ties to the administration.

Immigration eAuthority (August 1, 2014)

Immigration Update: State Department Announces Longer Delay in Visa Processing Times; August 2014 Visa Bulletin: Advancement of EB-3 China and EB-2 India Cut-off Dates; TCN Visa Processing in Canada “Extremely Limited” Over the Summer; Compliance Corner; Beware of H-1B Wage Law Violations: Company to be Debarred, Ordered to Pay Over $120,000 in Penalties and Back Pay for H-1B/LCA Violations; Settlement Highlights Need for Compliance with U.S. Export Control Rules When Sponsoring Foreign Workers; New Law Signed Modifying California’s Anti-Retaliation Protections; Discrimination Enforcement: Justice Department Settles Immigration-Related Discrimination Claim.