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The early returns are in and projections for when the H-1B cap will be reached for the 2011 season (FY 2012) have already begun.Unlike the April filings in 2007 and 2008, when the H-1B cap was reached during the first week (if not the first days), the last three (3) H-1B cap filing seasons (April 2009, 2010 and 2011) have seen a steady drop in early filings. Indeed, in the first week of April 2009 there were approximately 42,000 cap subject petitions filed; in 2010, approximately 13,500; and this year, only 10,400 were filed in the first week. So, this begs the question of when will the FY 2102 cap be reached? Based on the number of filings in the previous two (2) years, unless there is a dramatic economic turnaround in the U.S., a best guess would be sometime in February or March 2012. Of course, the rate of cap subject filings over the last several years signifies that there is no real need for an H-1B cap in the first place. Outside forces, other than an arbitrary cap set by Congress years ago, now drive new H-1B usage, e.g. the fragile status of the U.S. economy and its direct effect on the high unemployment rate; increased scrutiny by USCIS regarding IT consulting companies who place H-1B workers at client sites (as a result of the "Neufeld Memo"); recent amendments to the H-1B regulations which have increased the fees for high users of the H-1B program; the limited period of authorized stay in such classification; the increased outsourcing of work from the United States to elsewhere abroad; increased opportunities to prosper in growing economies like India and China which have traditionally used large numbers of H-1B visas in the past; increased enforcement against those who do not abide by the rules of the H-1B program; and, of course, the increased availability of U.S. workers due to the steady 8 to 9% unemployment rate in the United States.As has been furthered by the authors of this blog on many occasions, as well as by many others far more erudite, the H-1B cap should be eliminated. Of course, in today's political climate where Congress cannot even agree that passage of the Dream Act would be a sensible and compassionate form of relief for thousands of young foreign nationals of college age with nowhere to turn, it is more than wishful thinking that the H-1B cap will be eliminated anytime soon.
Post Authored By: Anthony F. Siliato, Esq. and Scott R. Malyk, Esq. of Meyner and Landis LLP
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April 20, 2011
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Article: A Rising Tide Or A Shrinking Pie: The Economic Impact Of Legalization Versus Deportation In Arizona by Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda and Marshall Fitz for the Immigration Policy Center and Center For American Progress
Article: Did Rep. Matt Ramsey Lie About HB 87, Again? by Charles Kuck
Bloggings: Obama Strategy: Talk About Immigration, But Avoid Actually Doing Anything About It by Greg Siskind
Bloggings: Obama's Meeting on Immigration Reveals He Has no Real Intention to Address Immigration Reform by Matthew Kolken
Bloggings: Pres. Obama Holds Immigration Meeting by Chris Musillo
Bloggings: Immigrants and the 2012 Election by Roger Algase
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The patterns for the 2012 election are already beginning to emerge, and President Obama's immigration strategy remains clearer than ever - more draconian enforcement, more cynical pandering for votes among immigration opponents who think that Obama himself is an illegal alien. Obama is apparently convinced that immigrants have nowhere else to go and that he can do whatever he wants. These may be true, but it will not change without vigorous action by the people who are most affected. Where are the Latino, Asian and other minority communities? Why are they not out in the streets day after day demonstrating for immigrant rights all over America, just as union workers have been doing in Wisconsin for their bargaining rights? If voters in immigrant communities make their voices heard, Obama will have to listen. If they remain cowed and silent, nothing will be achieved.
Roger Algase, Attorney at Law
This week, the President held another meeting with pro-immigration advocates where he proclaimed the need for immigration reform. Haven't we heard this time after time from the President? Running against the Republicans on this issue is a no brainer for the President. But what exactly is President Obama doing beyond giving speeches?
President Obama had both Houses of Congress in his first two years in office. Did he ever actually propose an immigration reform bill? No, he decided to let Congress sort it out for themselves rather than leading on the issue. And when he lost control of the House of Representatives, did he use the numerous executive powers at his disposal to address any of the failings in the current system? To date, he's not only done nothing in this regard, he's stated several times that the only way to address the problems in the immigration system is to wait on a paralyzed Congress to act. This is despite the numerous options spelled out for him by his own officials in a leaked memorandum.
Instead, he's ramped up immigration enforcement to levels greater than any President before him. He's enforcing a bar against same sex spouses being able to apply for immigration benefits despite his own Justice Department admitting the prohibition is unconstitutional. His immigration benefits agency USCIS has gotten progressively harsher and harsher in adjudicating work visa applications and green cards. He's deporting Haitians to a cholera-ridden country that is nowhere close to functioning normally since last year's devastating earthquake. And the list goes on and on.
Absent the speeches and the meetings, strictly judging by the ACTIONS of this Administration, this is arguably the most anti-immigrant White House we've seen in quite some time. Whether Latino voters and another pro-immigration constituencies support the President in 2012 fearing that the GOP candidate would be even worse is still an open question. But it does seem President Obama would do well to remember who delivered the 2008 election for him and who preserved the Democratic Senate. It's time to speak with your actions rather than delivering another eloquent speech.