Immigration issues facing employers in 2016 & 2017
Immigration has always been a very important political issue. Much attention has been focused on the policies and procedures proposed by the main candidates for the presidency, and depending upon who wins the election, it could mean major changes for employers.
This posting discuss some of the potential immigration concerns that may arise in the near future. Employers need to make sure they understand how these changes could impact their business, and they need to have a plan in place to make sure that they are prepared for whatever may happen.
Definition of legal status at issue?
There are many businesses that rely upon immigrants as an integral part of their workforce. President Obama had issued an executive order that prevented the deportation of people who were in the country illegally if they met specific criteria. There would be a three-year wait before deportation proceedings would commence for certain immigrants. The goal is that three year stay would be to stabilize immigration laws in order to find a permanent solution to the current challenges.
During this three-year period, the immigrants would be allowed to work in the country on a work permit. However, this executive order was challenged as part of a recent Supreme Court case. That case ended in a 4-4 split decision, which meant that the decision of the lower courts would still be in place. As part of the lower court’s decision, which happened in the Fifth Circuit, the judge asked for information on 50,000 immigrants who received the three-year work permits.
If the judge issues a ruling that changes the status of these workers, it could mean major problems for employers. They could have employees on their workforce who are not eligible to hold those positions due to their immigration status. Employers need to know how to address this issue should those changes happen.
Visa caps for workers in certain fields will remain in place
Another matter that requires planning for employers concerns the amount of H1-B visa caps. These caps restrict the amount of workers that may come in the United States for work purposes. The limitations make it extremely difficult for some to get permission to come to the U.S., and applications for visas are always in high demand. If employers are considering bringing workers into the country on one of these visas, they need to start planning right now.
If you have questions concerning an immigration law matter, you should talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine what steps you need to take to protect your business. An attorney can help you devise a strategy that helps you accomplish your goals and ensures that you are following all applicable immigration laws.
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