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Trump Administration Announces Plan for Immigration Reform

In an announcement on Thursday, May 16, 2019, President Trump unveiled an outline of his new legislative plan to modernize the nation’s immigration framework, promising to “establish[] a new legal immigration system that protects American wages, promotes American values, and attracts the best and brightest from all around the world.”1 In introducing the plan, President Trump announced, “[w]e are proposing an immigration plan that puts the jobs, wages, and safety of American workers first.”2

President Proposes New Merit-Based Green Card System

On May 16, 2019, President Donald Trump outlined, in broad strokes, his new immigration plan. The proposal delineates two primary goals: securing the U.S. border and protecting American workers. Most notably, the plan includes the introduction of a new “Build America” visa that would replace existing green card preference categories and limit family-based immigration in favor of a merit-based points system. President Trump says that his plan will significantly increase the number of green cards awarded to highly skilled workers.

DHS Announces That It Will Issue 30,000 Additional H-2B Visas in Response to High Demand

After a tumultuous filing period for the second half of fiscal year (FY) 2019, employers that rely on H-2B seasonal workers received some good news. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to issue up to 30,000 additional H-2B visas for the second half of FY 2019, which runs through September 30, 2019.

Trump Introduces Outlines of Immigration Reform in Advance of 2020 Campaign

President Donald Trump has introduced the broad outlines of his proposal for immigration reform. The “merit and heart system” focuses on security and establishing a more fully merit-based system for permanent residence (“green card”) status.

Resumption of Social Security No-Match Letters Raises the Stakes for Employers

After a seven-year hiatus, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed the practice of sending no-match letters (officially called Employer Correction Request notices).

Judge Orders Nationwide Preliminary Injunction Blocking Enforcement of Automatic Accrual of Unlawful Presence

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has issued a nationwide preliminary injunction halting the enforcement of the Trump administration’s August 2018 policy memorandum that changed when “unlawful presence” accrues for foreign students and exchange visitors.

What Processing Delays in Immigration Cases Mean

Long USCIS processing delays are now the norm for all types of immigration cases. Indeed, the delays have reached crisis levels. Processing times increased by 46% over the past two fiscal years and 91% since FY 2014.

President Trump Nominates New Director of ICE

President Donald Trump has nominated Mark Morgan to serve as the new director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Morgan spent 20 years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation before being appointed chief of U.S. Customs and Border Protection during the final months of the Obama administration. Despite being ousted from the role shortly after President Trump took office, Morgan has remained a vocal supporter of Trump’s immigration policies. Morgan must be confirmed by the Senate before he can assume the position.

Changes Coming for Travel to Europe

The days of spontaneously traveling to Europe on a whim are coming to an end for U.S. citizens. For many years, U.S. citizens have been able to travel to most European countries with only a valid U.S. passport as a travel document. In 2021, the European Schengen Zone will be requiring a registration similar to the U.S. Electronic System for Travel Authorization registration system (ESTA) from U.S. citizens traveling to the Schengen Zone. Currently, the Schengen Zone includes 26 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

An Employer’s 7-Step Guide To Navigating Newly Revived No-Match Letters

The Social Security Administration recently resurrected its practice of issuing Employer Correction Request notices – also known as “no-match letters” – when it receives employee information from an employer that does not match its records. If you find yourself in receipt of such a letter, we recommend you take the following seven steps in conjunction with working with your Fisher Phillips counsel.