The federal government continues to fail to act to reform immigration despite substantial evidence that the immigration system functions poorly from almost every perspective. Momentum for immigration reform generated in 2013 by the Senate’s passage of a comprehensive bill stalled when confronted by the wall erected by House Republicans. So far, no efforts by interest groups, politicians favoring reform, or public opinion have broken through.
Meanwhile, here are some trends affecting employers:
- Government immigration systems remain complicated, unpredictable, and backlogged. Relief is so slow to come and difficult to achieve that desirable immigration is discouraged or prevented.
- National security efforts continue to target employers for compliance enforcement. Employers must devote more resources to compliance without knowing whether their efforts are adequate.
- Immigration enforcement continues to hit employers with substantial fines for of I-9 and E-Verify violations that seem to penalize their good-faith efforts to comply.
- The quota for the popular H-1B visa for professionals filled within just a few days, resulting in rejection of half of all petitions filed. The insufficient number of visas resulted in significant cost to employer sponsors and departure of many productive professionals from the U.S.
- Intracompany transfers requiring a visa remain challenging and unpredictable, creating obstacles to the smooth functioning of multi-national companies.
- Employers sponsoring employees for permanent residency experience unpredictability in processing times, requirements, and visa availability and persistent backlogs. In some cases, employers learn they cannot offer sponsorship at all.
- Employers in many sectors are unable to find adequate numbers of U.S. workers to fill positions and continue to face obstacles including quotas, bureaucratic labyrinths, and lack of appropriate visas in hiring from abroad, especially for skilled non-professional and unskilled workers.
- Sectors of the U.S. economy continue to depend on significant numbers of undocumented workers, with no effective way to identify them or to legalize them, forcing employers to risk breaking the law to keep their businesses running.
Join us on September 15 our Compliance Law Update (formerly the Immigration Law Update) for in-depth presentations on the changes and updates that you need to implement in your workplace this year. Click here for more information.