President-Elect Biden Pledges Immigration-Related Actions in First 100 Days

President-elect Joe Biden has pledged in the first 100 days of his administration to set in motion a number of immigration-related actions. Some of his proposals could be launched immediately, while others may require new regulations or Congressional action. Trump administration rules finalized before President Trump leaves office are likely to require a lengthy regulatory process to change, unless the Congressional Review Act is invoked, which would allow Congress to override any new regulations if Congress acts within 60 days.

President-elect Biden’s planned initiatives include:

  • Ensuring that high-skilled temporary visas “not be used to disincentivize recruiting workers already in the U.S. for in-demand occupations.” The plan states that President-elect Biden will work with Congress to establish a “wage-based allocation process” and enforcement mechanisms to ensure that temporary visas are aligned with the labor market “and not used to undermine wages.”
  • Eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country.
  • Supporting family-based immigration. Under the plan, “any approved applicant” could receive a temporary nonimmigrant visa until their permanent visa is processed. Spouses and children of green card holders would be treated as immediate relatives and would be exempted from caps. Parents could bring their minor children with them when they immigrate to the United States.
  • Reforming the visa program for temporary workers in select industries that depend on seasonal and short-term workers. President-elect Biden pledges to work with Congress to allow workers in certain industries to switch jobs and to allow employers to certify the labor market’s need for foreign workers.
  • Increasing the number of visas for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions. President-elect Biden pledges to work with Congress “to increase the number of visas awarded for permanent, employment-based immigration—and promote mechanisms to temporarily reduce the number of visas during times of high U.S. unemployment.”
  • He will also “exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM [science, technology, engineering, and mathematics] fields” in the United States.President-elect Biden “believes that foreign graduates of a U.S. doctoral program should be given a green card with their degree and that losing these highly trained workers to foreign economies is a disservice to our own economic competitiveness.”
  • Ordering an immediate review of temporary protected status (TPS) and offering TPS holders who have been in the United States for an “extended period of time” and who have “built lives in the U.S.” a “path to citizenship through legislative immigration reform.”

More details can be found at:

Late November Visa Bulletin Preserves Forward Movement for Employment-Based Immigrant Visa Numbers

In somewhat of a surprise, the Visa Bulletin preserves the advancement of visa numbers that we saw in October.  The filing window for EB-2 and EB-3 applicants remains open for now.

New Regulation Proposed Wage-Based Selection Process for H-1B Registrations

DHS has proposed a rule that would prioritize selection of H-1B registrants based on wage levels. The intended effect is to incentivize employers to offer higher wages and attract more highly skilled workers, and to decrease unfair international competition for positions. Comments on the motion are due within 30 days of November 2, 2020. 

The drumbeat of tightening immigration policy continued with the advanced copy of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Read more here.

OFLC Releases FAQs on DOL Prevailing Wage Iterim Final Rules

The FAQs are intended to clarify issues pertaining to the new interim final rule on prevailing wage calculations. Interim final rule posited by the DOL increases prevailing wages. Read more here.

Scheduling and Case Status Updates from USCIS

USCIS has made changes to their scheduling systems. Read tips on how to navigate them, provided by WR Immigration.

New Blog Posts

The Chin & Curtis team authored several new blog posts over the past month. This month, we explored the differences between the Trump and Biden immigration agendas, we looked at how those competing agendas impact local economies, and we considered the key components to effective business immigration.

Chin & Curtis in the Media 

Our team provided their insight and expertise in several articles this month, including: