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DOL Judge Says Flagging Economy Insufficient Basis to Relieve H-1B Employers of Wage Obligations

Employers employing foreign nationals in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status must pay their H-1B employees the wage specified on the Labor Condition Application (LCA) certified by DOL, regardless of whether the H-1B employer is enduring difficult economic or financial periods due to struggling national economy, an Administrative Law Judge for the Department of Labor has ruled in Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division v. Shriiji Krupa Inc.

Immigration Penalties Adjusted for Inflation, Increases to Take Effect August 1

On June 30 and July 1, 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) each published separate interim final rules in the Federal Register to increase immigration-related penalties as an adjustment for inflation. The new penalties were calculated pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which also requires the agencies to make subsequent annual adjustments for inflation based on the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers. The penalty increases are significant and underscore the importance for employers of ensuring that their immigration programs are fully compliant with regulatory requirements.

State Department May Revoke Visa for DUI Arrest without Determination of Guilt

Individuals who hold nonimmigrant visas in the U.S. are likely to face severe consequences if arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or a related offense, based on the recently released guidance from the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

Key Updates Provided by Government Agencies at National Law Conference

In late June, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) held its annual immigration law conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference featured a series of open forums where representatives from a number of government agencies met with immigration attorneys to discuss key updates and address specific questions about immigration adjudications, trends and policy.

DOJ to Increase Civil Monetary Penalties for Immigration-Related, False Claims Violations

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has published an interim final rule adjusting current civil monetary penalties, which takes effect on August 1, 2016. The adjustments are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index for October 2015 and are in accordance with the 2015 Amendments to the Inflation Adjustment Act.

Employers Risk Higher Penalties for Hiring Unauthorized Workers

The U.S. Department of Justice is increasing civil monetary penalties substantially for employers who knowingly employ an unauthorized worker and for certain other immigration-related violations, according to an interim final rule the Department has published. The rule will take effect on August 1, 2016, and will apply to violations occurring after November 2, 2016. The increases come in response to the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which requires agencies to adjust penalties for inflation.

Business Immigration Zone: Immigration-Related Sentencing Guideline Amendments Sent to Congress

The U.S. Sentencing Commission recently submitted amendments to the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines to Congress. Among the changes that will become effective November 1, 2016 are:

Colorado Companies Receive Relief From Extra I-9 Recordkeeping Requirements With Repeal of State-Driven Attestation Law

For several years, Colorado employers have been required to declare their compliance with federal I-9 requirements by completing an extra affirmation document and retain copies of verification documentation (federal law does not require employers to retain copies of the underlying verification documentation) or face sanctions from the Colorado Division of Labor. This burden is about to disappear. On June 8, 2016, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed House Bill 16-1114 repealing these attestation requirements and alleviating the need for Colorado employers to duplicate existing federal employee verification recordkeeping. The law will become effective on August 10, 2016.

Business Immigration Zone: I-9 Compliance Alert: DOJ Announces New Fines For Immigration and Employment Verification Violations

The U.S. Department of Justice recently unveiled a rule that will increase possible penalties for unfair employment practices tied to immigration and employing undocumented individuals.

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Birthright Citizenship Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a man born outside the U.S., out of wedlock, to a U.S. citizen father and a noncitizen mother could benefit from birthright citizenship. A decision in this case can mean protection from deportation for many. Lynch v. Morales-Santana, 804 F.3d 520 (2d Cir. 2015), cert. granted (U.S. June 28, 2016) (No. 15-1191).