Decreasing numbers of H1B (professional workers) applicant yet still two few quotas, and President’s Trump counterproductive “Buy American and Hire American” executive order---just full of fury and sound.
- On April 7, 2017, USCIS announced that it had received enough H-1B petitions to reach the statutory cap of 65,000 H-1B visas and 20,000 advanced degree visas for FY2018.
- On April 17, 2017, USCIS announced that it had received 199,000 H-1B petitions during the filing period, which began April 3. This represents a 15.7 percent decrease from the 236,000 petitions that USCIS received during last year's filing period.
- In an atmosphere of uncertainty, it is not surprising that fewer petitions were filed this year, despite the evidence that H-1B visa holders are job creators that benefit our economy.
- Contrary to the rhetoric, U.S. businesses do not seek H-1B workers in order to save money; the reality is that the fees and costs associated with filing a successful petition are high enough that most employers use the H-1B because they cannot locate a qualified U.S. worker to fill the position.
- Though overall receipts are down less from last year's receipts, this year is the fifth year in a row that enough petitions were filed to reach the cap within the first week of the filing period.
- Our immigration system is critical to all geographic and industry sectors, not just Silicon Valley. H-1B workers help transform state and local economies across the nation, from Boise, ID, to Raleigh, NC, Des Moines, IA, and Lincoln, NE. H-1B workers are vital to our healthcare system, and our manufacturing and energy industries.
- For the good of our economy, our nation needs a system that better reflects the realities facing U.S. businesses today and provides flexibility and options, including an increase in permanent visas and H-1Bs, for U.S. employers seeking to build a competitive workforce.
Today, President Trump signed his latest Executive Order "Buy American and Hire American." Its announcement reflects the administration's desire to move toward reforms to the H-1B program, there will be no immediate changes or impacts on H-1Bs. AILA President William A. Stock said, "Today's announcement brings to mind a famous phrase from Shakespeare's MacBeth: 'full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.' While the agencies are being asked to undertake a review of the H-1B program, the reality is that many of the changes contemplated by the administration will require legislative action, or at minimum, the lengthy rulemaking process. Rather than 'sound and fury,' what we really need is President Trump and Congress to work together on immigration reform that will bring our legal immigration system into the twenty-first century, so we have a system that works for us all."
Stock continued: "Our immigration system is critical to all geographic and industry sectors, not just Silicon Valley. H-1B workers help transform state and local economies across the nation, from Boise, ID, to Raleigh, NC, Des Moines, IA, and Lincoln, NE. H-1B workers are vital to our healthcare system, and to our manufacturing and energy industries. Any reforms proposed by the Trump Administration as a result of this Executive Order should be based on facts and data, not innuendo and anecdote, and must ensure that our immigration system, including the H-1B program, remain viable tools for U.S. businesses seeking to build and maintain a globally competitive workforce."