The President’s Executive Actions on Immigration: What Employers Need To Know

On November 20, 2014 President Obama announced a set of immigration changes to be implemented by executive action within the parameters of current U.S. immigration laws.  The announcement was accompanied by a 33-page memorandum opinion from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) explaining why the proposed executive action is legal. None of the proposals can take effect until sometime in 2015 after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develops detailed criteria and application procedures for each program. Meanwhile Congress could change all of this at any time by amending the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The executive actions don’t address certain key issues that are of great interest to the business community such as the H-1B cap which is dictated by the INA.  H-1Bs are readily available for colleges and universities, nonprofits affiliated with colleges and universities, and nonprofit research organizations.  But the H-1B cap is a major challenge for businesses with hard-to-fill professional positions. Still the announcement included good news for employers... Read more.