Keeping the Government Accountable and Fighting for the American Worker
March 1, 2016
Yesterday, February 29, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) filed a public comment (attached here) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding its proposed rule that would unlawfully expand employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs. The proposed rule, entitled “Retention of EB–1, EB–2, and EB–3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting High- Skilled Nonimmigrant Workers,” is a convoluted and complicated potpourri of anti-American, job-stealing policies all wrapped up into one rule. The proposed rule is an obvious attempt by the Obama Administration to formalize its anti-American policies into regulation before leaving office, thereby affecting years to come.
USCIS claims that the proposed rule is “primarily aimed at improving the ability of U.S. employers to hire and retain” nonimmigrant specialty workers seeking to remain in the U.S. as employment-based immigrants, while “increasing the ability of such workers to … pursue other employment options.” 80 Fed. Reg. 81900. Upon careful review, FAIR and IRLI have concluded that the most accurate translation of that bureaucratic formulation is that USCIS has chosen to take an aggressively expansive policy position that is highly favorable to the special interests to be regulated by the notice of proposed rulemaking. Of particular concern is that the proposed rule construes the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000, with no consideration whatsoever for the interests or protection of American specialty occupation workers. Given the predominately ultra vires and arbitrary character of a majority of the proposed changes to Code of Federal Regulations Title 8, along with the misleading and bad faith approach taken by the agency in amalgamating this rule, and also the permanent harm that implementation would cause to thousands of American specialty occupation workers nationwide, FAIR and IRLI respectfully urged the agency to withdraw the rule, and reissue it only after incorporating the extensive redactions described in their public comment.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director commented, “The proposed rule collects nearly two dozen discrete regulatory proposals in a single rule. Apparently USCIS hopes to hide behind its dense technical language, in order to festoon the rule with additional changes to favor foreign skilled labor over their American counterparts that have no express basis in the relevant statutory texts.” Wilcox continued, “This proposed rule, and the years of confusing and often contradictory interim guidance it purports to be integrating into the Code of Federal Regulations, are a demoralizing example of agency capture by the special interests that Congress intended it to regulate in the national interest.”