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The Top 5 Business Immigration Headlines of 2017

While waving at 2018, let us have a look at the top headline makers, of 2017 business immigration trends, by an article from Roy Maurer.

resident Donald Trump in 2017 began to follow through on many of the promises he made regarding employment-based immigration during his successful election campaign. Executive actions issued during the year signalled his intent to reduce the flow of foreign talent into the United States by reforming employment visa programs, vetting immigrant workers more thoroughly and shifting toward stricter workplace enforcement.

The White House also moved to eliminate several Obama-era programs, regulations and practices—most notably the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program—and expressed support for aligning the U.S. immigration system toward prioritizing the highest-educated, skilled and paid workers.

Here are the top five most-read articles on business immigration from SHRM Online in 2017:

President Trump Signs ‘Hire American’ Executive Order

The president signed the Buy American, Hire American executive order in April, directing federal agencies to implement the rhetoric of his election campaign. The order calls for a review of the H-1B visa program for skilled workers, with the goal of reforming the program. This has already led to a significant increase in requests for evidence and denials of visa petitions from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

In addition, USCIS has indicated it will double site visits in 2018, while sister agency Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it will more than quadruple workplace inspections in the new year.

Trump’s administration is also reportedly looking to reduce or eliminate certain categories of the J-1 visa, including international internships, and the H-4 visa for spouses of H-1B workers.

Travel Ban Leaves Employers, Workers in Limbo

The legal saga over Trump’s series of executive orders restricting immigration from certain countries has created confusion and uncertainty for employers and the foreign nationals they employ. In the latest development, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction against the president’s executive order. However, the decision issued Dec. 22 by the appeals court will have no immediate effect because of a Supreme Court ruling issued Dec. 4allowing the administration to fully implement the ban as legal challenges are heard.

Employment Verification Discrimination Changes Take Effect

Employers found themselves more exposed to discrimination charges based on national origin or citizenship during the employment verification process after a new regulation went into effect in January. The regulation clarified that treating a worker differently when requesting documents during the employment verification process, regardless of whether the intent is to harm or help, will be prohibited. Prior to the revision, charges against employers could not be pursued if hiring practices were considered discriminatory but not carried out with intent to harm. The rule also expanded the prohibition beyond the I-9 process to E-Verify and even to onboarding.

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