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Legislative Updates

  • Two immigration bills were introduced in Congress this week: The Dignity Act and The Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act.
  • The Dignity Act, introduced by Reps. Maria Elvira Salazar (R-Fla) and Veronica Escobar (D-Tex), would, among other things, provide a path to citizenship for Dreamers, individuals with Temporary Protected Status, and undocumented immigrants; update the legal immigration process; and provide resources to secure U.S. borders.
  • The Essential Workers for Economic Advancement Act will be re-introduced by Reps. Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa) and Henry Cuellar (D-Tex). The bill would allow job creators to address chronic workforce shortages.

DOJ Announces Several Settlements Regarding Discriminatory Job Ads

  • DOJ’s Immigrant and Employee Rights (IER) determined that American CyberSystems Inc. violated the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it recruited for two positions using advertisements that unlawfully excluded certain applicants based on their citizenship statuses.
  • One job advertisement sought only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs). The company wrongfully believed it could only hire U.S. citizens and LPRs for the position because it was regulated by the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Both regulations permit employment of U.S. nationals, refugees, and asylees. The second advertisement sought only H-1B visa holders.
  • DOJ’s IER posted this flyer to help employers ensure their ads for positions subject to ITAR and EAR still comply with anti-discrimination laws.
  • In another published settlement, IER also determined that Infosoft Solutions Inc. violated the INA when it posted six job ads that only sought workers seeking sponsorship.
  • IER also published settlement agreements with 10 companies that it found had all posted discriminatory job ads on a college recruiting platform. The companies each posted at least one job ad on the university website that excluded non-U.S. citizens.

USCIS Changes How It Will Review Applications Parole Program for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans

  • The parole program has received more applications than anticipated. As of May 17, 2023, USCIS will randomly select about half of the 30,000 monthly total, regardless of filing date, from the entire pending workload of applications. It will then review the other half of the monthly total by prioritizing the oldest pending applications.
  • Under this new review system, processing times will vary and supporters should check their case status in their online account or via Case Status Online.

State Department Delays Visa Fee Increase

  • DOS is delaying the visa fee increase until June 17, 2023, because the final rule was delivered to Congress April 17, 2023, and 60 days must pass between the delivery date and final issuance.
  • As a reminder, fees for B, TN, H, L, O, E, and border crossing cards are all increasing.
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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff ‡ Laura Foote Reiff ‡

Laura Foote Reiff has more than 32 years of experience representing businesses and organizations in the business immigration and compliance field. She is also a business immigration advocate and has long chaired prominent business immigration coalitions. Laura is Co-Founder of GT’s Business and

Laura Foote Reiff has more than 32 years of experience representing businesses and organizations in the business immigration and compliance field. She is also a business immigration advocate and has long chaired prominent business immigration coalitions. Laura is Co-Founder of GT’s Business and Immigration and Compliance Group which she co-led since 1999. She currently chairs the Northern Virginia/Washington D.C. Immigration and Compliance Practice. Laura is also Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office of GT, a position she has held since 2010. As a global leader in the business immigration community, Laura has served on the Boards of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Immigration Council, the National Immigration Forum and is currently the Chair of the America is Better Board.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.

 Admitted in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.

Photo of Rebecca B. Schechter ‡ Rebecca B. Schechter ‡

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher…

Rebecca Schechter focuses her practice on business immigration and compliance, representing multi-national corporations midsized companies, and startups, as well as individual clients. She has experience with all areas of employment-based immigration, particularly H-1B, L-1, O-1 and E-2 petitions, as well as outstanding researcher petitions and labor certification applications. Rebecca regularly assists GT clients with global immigration matters, including business and work visas to countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. She also works on state and federal I-9 and E-Verify audits. Rebecca has a thorough understanding of third party contractor issues and experience handling complex naturalization, deportation defense, family and employment-based adjustment applications.

Admitted in Maryland and Connecticut. Not admitted in Virginia. Practice limited to federal immigration practice.