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Hammond Law Firm on Nurse Immigration

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  1. Latest Posts

    For the latest posts by Chris Musillo see here.
  2. May Day

    Today is May Day which is traditionally a day that working immigrants in this country exercise their right to freely gather. Rallies may be held across the country in support of Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

    While CIR is being bandied about Washington DC, readers of this Blog are focused on more targeted legislation: retrogression relief for Schedule A workers - Registered Nurses and Physical Therapists. No matter what happens in the interim, CIR is going to be pushed by President Obama and is going to have significant consequences for employment based immigration.

    No legislation gets approved in this country without significant constituent action. For May Day, I ask that you contact your local Representative and two Senators and explain to them that the US nursing shortage is a short and long-term problem and that international workers must be a part of the solution. This will help lay the groundwork for specific Schedule A legislative initiatives that will be introduced in the near future as well as the eventual introduction of CIR.

    -Chris Musillo
  3. What the lack of H-1B filings really means


    The USCIS' recently updated its regular cap FY 2009 H-1B cap count. The update of 44,000 accepted petitions, up from 42,000 in the first announcement, means a run rate of about 1,000 petitions per week. At this rate it may be five or six months until the H-1B cap is reached.

    In prior years we have seen more than twice as many H-1B cases accepted as slots were available. These numbers provide compelling evidence against the argument that internationally-trained workers are being used to displace American workers and lower US workers salaries. That argument just doesn't jibe with what is actually happening.

    If H-1B visa labor was being used primarily to lower US workers salaries, the H-1B filing numbers wouldn't be impacted to any meaningful degree. Why? Because the incentive to reduce workers' salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less. This logic is straightforward and convincing.

    Yet, this year we've seen a dramatic downtick in H-1B visas filed in industries like Information Technology and Finance. Meanwhile industries with continued staffing shortages, such as healthcare and teaching, continued to file H-1B Petitions. If the H-1B program was being used to lower salaries, why aren't the IT and financial industries continuing to file H-1B petitions? Are these industries not interested in cutting costs?

    It bears worth repeating: if the H-1B program is used to reduce US workers salaries, why haven't the H-1B Petition numbers continued in industries where every dollar is increasingly important?

    In point of fact, the H-1B program is largely used to supplement worker supply shortages and attract the international superstars to the US. This isn't to say that there aren't the occasional bad actors who abuse the system. But the relative paucity of H-1B enforcement actions calls into serious question that there is any large-scale fraud inherent in the system. Particularly noteworthy is the complete lack of any arrests or prosecutions in the wake of a well-publicized September 2008 DHS report on H-1B Benefit Fraud.

    Critics of the H-1B system fail to acknowledge just how well the system actually works. In robust times, the H-1B system allows growing companies to attract more workers from overseas when they can't fill those jobs with US workers. In down times, when jobs are few, the market does what it is supposed to do and fewer H-1B job offers are made.

    If Congress really wants to reform the H-1B process, it ought to eliminate the arbitrary quota and just let the market sort out the numbers question. Congress also ought to give non-bachelor degree occupations with well-documented staffing shortages, such as nursing, access to the H-1B program.

    -Chris Musillo


  4. H-1 Cap Update

    The USCIS has announced that it has received 44,000 H-1B petitions counting toward the Congressionally-mandated 65,000 cap, as of April 20. The USCIS continues to accept regular cap-subject H-1B cases.
    On April 9, the USCIS announced that it had received 42,000 cases, which means that they are only receiving 1,000 cap-subject cases per week. At this rate it could be 5-6 months before the H-1B cap is reached.
    The Masters cap has received the full subscription of 20,000 petitions. USCIS continues to accept Masters cases since their experience is that not all accepted cases will be approvable.
    The USCIS Cap Count page should update the cap numbers, although it doesn't look like USCIS has started to update the page as of yet.
  5. Charice!

    A friend sent this video of the Philippine sensation, Charice, singing the Star Spangled Banner before the start a Los Angeles Dodgers game. It is one of the most powerful renditions of the US National Anthem that you will ever hear or see. Since so many Philippine nationals visit this blog, and there are a lot of potential immigrants out there who think that America is forgetting about you, I thought that it was important to share. America still needs immigrants and especially healthcare workers. In the next few weeks, I expect that we'll soon see evidence of this.



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