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How the President’s Immigration Executive Actions Will Impact Employers

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on January 13, 2015

As we reported, on November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a number of executive orders impacting US immigration policy, some of which will have a direct and significant impact on employers.

For instance, among other actions, the President announced the extension of deferred action to parents of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. There are currently millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S., many of whom have been in the country for years and have U.S.-born children who are U.S. citizens. Under the President’s executive actions, the deferred action will be available to parents of U.S. citizen children and lawful permanent resident children (DAPA), provided that the applicant can prove that he or she has been in the U.S. for five years, passes a background check, and pays any back taxes.

Employers should consider how they will deal with employees who disclose that they have been working illegally but now have work authorization under DAPA. Employers may be asked to provide documentation to their employees to help them prove the five-year residency requirements, but employers might be concerned about providing documentation to the government confirming that the applicant has been working illegally for the employer.

Additionally, the President announced the following employment-related immigration actions:

  • Amendments to regulations in order to allow filing of I-485 applications when an I-140 petition is approved, which means that it will no longer be necessary to wait years until the green card number is available thereby allowing employees and their family members increased job flexibility.
  • H-4 spouse work authorizations to allow the spouses of H-1B workers to work in the U.S. under certain circumstances.
  • Investors and entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria will be allowed to enter or remain in the U.S. to start businesses under a category of immigration authorization called “parole, ” and researchers will be eligible for “national interest waivers,” thereby allowing them to apply for employment-based green cards without requiring employer sponsorship or PERM labor certification.
  • Improvements to PERM labor certification process.

Employers will undoubtedly be assessing their employment policies and procedures in light of the President’s recent executive actions, and the immigration attorneys at Shapiro Law Group stand ready to assist with this process. We will explain these actions to you in greater detail and help you understand how they will impact your business. If changes to your employment policies and procedures are necessary, we can also help you implement those modifications.

Moreover, additional legislative and regulatory action will likely be taken in the next few months to implement the President’s actions. Our employment immigration lawyers will continue to monitor any employment-related immigration developments and notify you of these changes.

At Shapiro Law Group, our immigration lawyers focus on helping employers manage their work visa and other employment immigration needs so that they can efficiently run their business.  Contact us online or call our office at (847) 564-0712 to schedule a consultation with one of our employment immigration lawyers.