May 2019 Government Update
House Holds Hearing on Labor Legislation
Recently, the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing titled “The Protecting the Right to Organize Act: Deterring Unfair Labor Practices”, which considered H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019.
The bill contains several provisions that would reinstate several Obama-era labor provisions, including the joint-employer standard, and place regulations on the union election process. The bill is not supported by Senate Republicans, so the chances of it passing through the upper chamber are very slim. BSCAI will continue to monitor this bill and others. For questions, contact Kevin McKenney at email@example.com.
Additional H-2B Visas to be issued
Recently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has agreed to issue up to 30,000 additional H-2B visas for the second half of FY 2019, which runs through September 30, 2019.
The rule, Exercise of Time-Limited Authority to Increase the Fiscal Year 2019 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program, allows additional H-2B visa petitions to be filed for workers who were issued or otherwise granted H-2B status in FY 2016, 2017, or 2018. This means that only “returning workers” who previously held an H-2B visa are eligible.
To submit a request, click here, then click the blue “comment now” box.
President Trump Unveils Immigration Proposal
Last week, President Donald Trump announced an immigration reform proposal addressing legal immigration options, but did not address undocumented immigrants already living in the U.S. or provide guidance on the issue of “Dreamers.”
The proposal focuses mainly on highly-skilled immigrants by creating a merit-based point system and significantly decreasing family-based immigration. Specifically, the president is pushing Congress to develop and pass legislation to secure the border, protect U.S. workers, attract skilled immigrants, unify families, provide labor supply for critical industries and preserve humanitarian values with the following provisions:
- Develop a point system for qualified migrants, based on extraordinary talent, professional and specialized vocations or exceptional academic performance;
- Eligibility points may be increased by taking U.S. civics courses, passing criminal background checks, establishing English proficiency and demonstrating employment offers;
- Replace random green card allocation with uniform criteria that prioritizes highly skilled students and workers;
- Prioritize spouses and children of U.S. citizens in the family-based immigration system;
- Construct portions of the border wall in high priority locations to secure borders
This announcement is solely a request for Congress to act and does not change current immigration law or create new immigration opportunities at this time. BSCAI will monitor the issue and provide updates if immigration reform progresses.