Musings on Immigration

Our Globally Recognized Team of Immigration Lawyers Sharing Knowledge and Providing Counsel on Immigration Issues that Affect You, Your Business and Your Family

Trump Signs "Buy American, Hire American" Executive Order—Another Empty Bag of Promises on Immigration Reform

On April 18, President Trump signed an executive order that initiated a government-wide review to bolster the "Hire American" and "Buy American" directives. According to Market Watch, the review process will last 220 days and may lead to new legislation and additional executive orders that target immigration reform.   The reality is, however, that he order itself is a big nothing.  The agencies were already reviewing changes to the H-1B and other other programs. This Executive Order is nothing more than publicity meant to cause concern among those who use the program, and to embolden those who oppose it. 


While the Executive Order’s  supposed primary focus of this review will be to investigate alleged “abuse” of the H-1B visa program and to identify ways to stop companies from replacing American employees with lower-cost immigrant workers. Yet, The executive order does not outline any definitive changes to the H-1B program; rather, it instructs the Attorney General, Secretary of Labor, Secretary of State, and Secretary of Homeland Security to issue new guidance and propose new rules to ensure “the integrity of the immigration system in order to ‘Hire American’.”  For any real effective change, Trump will need congressional permission and statutory changes, not regulatory fixes and empty executive orders.

In addition, The Department of Justice recently announced its intention to ramp up investigations into companies that hire H-1B and L-1 workers. If your company hires workers through the H-1B or L-1 visa program, it is critical that you ensure that your hiring processes are compliant with U.S. immigration laws.

Charles Kuck is an employment immigration lawyer in Atlanta who can evaluate your situation and provide comprehensive legal guidance. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation at Kuck Immigration Partners.

Are U.S. Companies Really Paying H-1B Workers Less Than American Employees?  No!

Researchers from Glassdoor recently evaluated a sample of 58,025 salary offers for more than 100 jobs on H-1B visa applications in fiscal year 2016. According to the data, H-1B workers earned more than American employees in about half of the jobs examined; however, H-1B workers earned significantly less than their American counterparts in certain occupations. These included financial analyst, data scientist, and software engineer. In fact, the salary difference for software engineer jobs was 17 percent in some cities.

Despite these outliers, the researchers concluded that H-1B workers usually are not paid less than American employees. This finding is consistent with a 2011 study conducted by the Institute of Labor Economics. The result is unsurprising since current U.S. immigration laws require companies to pay H-1B workers a salary that is at or above the “prevailing wage” for similar jobs.


Employment visa reform seems inevitable, and companies that intend to continue hiring immigrant workers must adapt their compliance systems or risk accusations of fraud and abuse of the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. If your company hires workers through the H-1B or L-1 program, contact Kuck Immigration Partners for legal guidance. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney in Atlanta.


¿Cuál es la justicia para los inmigrantes de Alto Nivel del 2017?

La justicia para los inmigrantes de Alto Nivel del 2017 (H.R.392) fue introducida por el congresista Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) el 10 de enero del 2017. El proyecto de ley propone varias enmiendas a la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad que tendrá profundas repercusiones en el reglamento de visas de empleo de los Estados Unidos.




Si es aprobada, H.R.392 eliminaría el limite por país sobre el número de inmigrantes basado en empleo, y aumentaría el tope por país de inmigrantes basados en la familia de 7 por ciento a 15 por ciento del número total de visados patrocinados por la familia. Además, el proyecto de ley enmendaría la Ley de Protección de Estudiantes Chinos de 1992 para eliminar la disposición que requiere la reducción de las visas anuales de inmigrantes chinos para compensar los ajustes de estatus bajo la Ley.

H.R.392 es sólo uno de varios proyectos de ley que se han presentado al Congreso que reforma las leyes de visas de empleo en Estados Unidos. Si usted posee o administra un negocio que contrata a inmigrantes a través de la visa H-1B o L-1, es importante que usted aprenda cómo la legislación propuesta podría afectar a su empresa.

Varias agencias federales, incluyendo el Departamento de Justicia y de Ciudadanía y Servicios de Inmigración de Estados Unidos, recientemente ha emitido advertencias a las empresas que abusan de la visa H-1B o L-1 y aquellos que cometen fraude. El DoJ ha afirmado que va a perseguir enérgicamente los infractores que no cumplen con las leyes de inmigración de Estados Unidos.
Si necesita ayuda para profundizar las leyes para la visa de trabajo de EE.UU.  y garantizar que su empresa las cumpla, contacte con Kuck Inmigración Partners. Charles Kuck es el ex presidente de la Asociación de Abogados de Inmigración de Negocios. Él tiene conocimiento, experiencia y recursos para responder a sus preguntas y ayudarle a evitar acusaciones de fraude o uso indebido del programa de visa H-1B o L-1 . Llame 404-816-8611 hoy para programar una consulta con un abogado de visa de empleo en Atlanta.

¿Qué es la Ley de Reforma de Visas H-1B y L-1 de 2017?

La Ley de Reforma de Visas H-1B y L-1 del 2017 (S.180) propone enmiendas a la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad relativas a las categorías de visas H-1B y L-1. Si se aprueba, el proyecto de ley impediría que las empresas estadounidenses reemplacen a los trabajadores estadounidenses con titulares de visas H-1B o L-1. Además, las grandes empresas con al menos 50 empleados, la mitad de los cuales son titulares de visas L-1 o H-1B, no podrían contratar más trabajadores a través del programa de visas H-1B.

El proyecto de ley eliminaría el sistema de lotería de Green Card y daría prioridad a los estudiantes extranjeros que recibieron su educación en los Estados Unidos. También requeriría que todos los titulares de visas H-1B completaran un título de los Estados Unidos como una calificación para la elegibilidad de "ocupación especializada".

El proyecto de ley reduciría el período de seis años de admisión autorizada para los no inmigrantes H-1B a tres años, con la opción de extender el período de admisión por tres años bajo ciertas circunstancias. S.180 también ampliaría la autoridad del Departamento de Trabajo para auditar a los empleadores que patrocinan visas L-1 y H-1B.

Aunque estos proyectos de ley aún no han sido promulgados, parece que la reforma de la visa de empleo de Estados Unidos es inevitable. Las compañías que contratan a inmigrantes a través del programa L-1 o H-1B seria prudente planear con anticipación para que puedan seguir cumpliendo y evitar acusaciones de fraude y abuso de programas de visas de empleo.

Si necesita ayuda legal con un asunto de visa de empleo, comuníquese con Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck tiene más de 26 años de experiencia como abogado de inmigración y tiene los conocimientos y recursos para ayudarle a profundizar las leyes de inmigración de los Estados Unidos. Llame al 404-816-8611 para programar una consulta con un abogado de inmigración en Atlanta.

What Is The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017?

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 (H.R.392) was introduced by Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) on Jan. 10, 2017. The bill proposes several amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act that would have profound impacts on U.S. employment visa regulations.


If passed, H.R.392 would eliminate the per-country cap on the number of employment-based immigrants, and it would increase the per-country cap for family-based immigrants from 7 percent to 15 percent of the total number of family-sponsored visas. Further, the bill would amend The Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 to remove the provision that requires the reduction of yearly Chinese immigrant visas to offset adjustments of status under the Act.

H.R.392 is just one of several bills that have been introduced to Congress that would reform U.S. employment visa laws. If you own or manage a business that hires immigrants through the H-1B or L-1 visa program, it is critical that you learn how the proposed legislation could affect your company.

Several federal agencies, including the Department of Justice and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, recently issued warnings to companies that abuse the H-1B or L-1 program and those that commit fraud. The DoJ has stated that it will vigorously prosecute violators who are not compliant with U.S. immigration laws.

If you need help navigating U.S. employment visa laws and ensuring that your company is compliant, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck is the past President of the Alliance of Business Immigration Lawyers. He has the knowledge, experience, and resources to answer your questions and help you avoid accusations of fraud or abuse of the H-1B or L-1 visa program. Call 404-816-8611 today to schedule a consultation with an employment visa lawyer in Atlanta.

What Is The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017?

The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017 (S.180) proposes amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act concerning the H-1B and L-1 visa categories. If passed, the bill would prevent U.S. companies from replacing American workers with H-1B or L-1 visa holders. Also, large companies with at least 50 employees, half of whom are L-1 or H-1B visa holders, could not hire more workers through the H-1B visa program.

The bill would eliminate the green card lottery system and give visa priority to foreign students who received their education in the United States. It would also require all H-1B visa holders to complete a U.S. degree as a qualification for "specialty occupation" eligibility.

The bill would reduce the six-year period of authorized admission for H-1B non-immigrants to three years, with an option to extend the admission period for three years under certain circumstances. S.180 would also expand the Department of Labor’s authority to audit employers who sponsor L-1 and H-1B visas.

Although these bills have not yet been signed into law, it seems that U.S. employment visa reform is inevitable. Companies that hire immigrants through the L-1 or H-1B program would be wise to plan ahead so they can remain compliant and avoid accusations of fraud and abuse of employment visa programs.

If you need legal assistance with an employment visa matter, contact Kuck Immigration Partners. Charles Kuck has more than 26 years of experience as an immigration attorney, and he has the knowledge and resources to help you navigate U.S. immigration laws. Call 404-816-8611 to schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney in Atlanta.