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President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration

Last night, President Obama announced his plan for a partial fix of what many believe is a broken U.S. immigration system. This Executive Action will offer over four million undocumented individuals relief from deportation and provide them the opportunity to apply for temporary work authorization under what is being called Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA), expand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, strengthen border security measures, expand provisional waivers to include spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPR), and support high-skilled businesses and workers.

Executive Action on Business Immigration

President Obama has officially announced his plan for a series of executive actions on immigration. While the national discussion is largely focused on illegal immigration, the president’s plan impacts the business community by changing certain aspects of employment-based legal immigration programs. While details will be forthcoming, the executive actions intend to:

Does the President Have the Power to Defer Deportation of Undocumented Immigrants?

President Obama has announced that before the end of the year he intends to issue executive orders to address the dysfunctional immigration system if Congress does not act on immigration reform legislation. There is widespread speculation that the executive order would grant a temporary reprieve from deportation to a portion of the approximately 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The New York Times has reported that the program may allow parents of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to obtain deferment of deportation if they have been in the United States for a certain amount of time, potentially shielding millions of undocumented individuals. The president may also provide more visas for high-skilled workers. Republicans have objected, saying the president does not have such authority and that unilateral action will make cooperation with Congress on legislative reform impossible.

Immigration eAuthority (November 2014)

Strengthening Security of the Visa Waiver Program Through Enhancements to the Electronic System for Travel Authorization; OIG 2015 Plan Focuses on ICE’s Business Selection Process for I-9 Investigation; Supreme Court to Decide Whether Courts Can Review the Consular Denial of a Visa Based on Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Business Immigration Now: President Obama to Announce 10-Point Immigration Reform Plan

Media sources are now reporting that President Obama will unveil a 10-part plan for overhauling U.S. immigration policy via Presidential Authority – as early as next Friday.

E-Verify Users: Download the "Historic Records Report" on or before December 31, 2014

On January 1, 2015, E-Verify will delete all transactions more than 10 years old from their system.Accordingly, as of January 1, 2015, E-Verify users will no longer have access to E-Verify cases created prior to December 31, 2004.Employers that would like to retain a record of cases more than 10 years old should download the new Historic Records Report, which will include all transactions for cases over 10 years old created prior to December 31, 2004.

H-1B Cap Case Filing Receipt Deadline Set For April 1, 2015: Retailers Should Start Planning Now for FY 2016

Retailers that utilize the H-1B visa for employees in their information technology, design, marketing, buying, and planning departments should start considering their FY 2016 immigration needs now that the H-1B cap filing season is approaching (as we covered in our November 3 article, “USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY 2016 on April 1, 2015”). Employer petitions must be received by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) on April 1, 2015. Note, however, that these cap-subject H-1B petitions will have an employment start date of October 1, 2015 or later.

Immigration eAuthority

USCIS Will Begin Accepting Cap-Subject H-1B Petitions for FY 2016 on April 1, 2015

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Reveals "myE-Verify"

On October 6, 2014, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the launch of its "myE-Verify" website. According to USCIS, myE-Verify is "a one-stop shop for employees to create and maintain secure personal accounts and access new features for identity protection" and "signifies a significant step forward for added transparency, features, and identity protection" related to E-Verify.

Immigration Law Does Not Preempt State Wage and Hour Claims, Says Court

In case there was any question, an Indiana staffing company, Access Therapies, learned late last month that the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) does not absolve employers of their responsibilities under state wage and hour laws. The Southern District of Indiana denied Access Therapies’ motion to dismiss a counterclaims filed by a Philippine citizen who had signed several agreements and promissory notes with the company in return for its sponsorship of his H-1B petition.