USCIS Responds to Senate Requests Regarding H-1B Program

06/05/2017

In March, CBS aired a "60 Minutes" special called, "You're Fired," which discussed the H-1B visa program and its impact on American workers. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, then sent a letter to USCIS asking if USCIS had initiated an investigation into the companies mentioned in the special, as well as broader questions related to H-1B compliance enforcement and potential reforms.

James McCament, Acting Director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), recently responded to each of Senator Grassley's questions. In his response, McCament noted that USCIS has taken part in investigations about the "possible misuse" of the H-1B program by specific companies and their contractors. "USCIS continues to review information from previously filed visa petitions and site visits at these companies and will refer its findings to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement if violations of the legal requirements can be substantiated," he said.

McCament also reaffirmed USCIS' commitment to conducting targeted H-1B site visits for certain companies, such as H-1B-dependent employers. "...USCIS will take a more targeted approach when conducting site visits across the country of H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees," McCament said. "These targeted site visits will enable USCIS to focus resources where fraud and abuse of the H-1B program may be more likely to occur, and determine whether H-1B-dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers."

Regarding reform efforts, McCament addressed President Trump's recent "Buy American, Hire American" Executive Order. He wrote, "Consistent with the Presidential Executive Order on Buy American, Hire American signed on April 18, 2017, USCIS will, as soon as practicable and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance relating to the H-1B visa program. In particularly, in accordance with the Executive Order, the proposed new rules and guidance would seek to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance in ways that would protect the interests of U.S. workers, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse."

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