The House is Ruled By Republicans
Before January 2023, the House majority was Democratic by a small margin. But in January, seat changes adjusted the control back to the Republicans. Traditionally, Republican-led House and Democratic-led Senates have difficulty agreeing on policies, particularly regarding immigration.
Recently, Rep. Jerry Nadler (NY) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA), who are the chairs of the House Judiciary Committee and, importantly, the immigration subcommittee, have made their stances known as pro-immigration. Their preferences aim to help improve business immigration, refugees and asylum seekers, and family immigrants.
However, the overall hearings over the last few years have continued to enforce boundaries intended to limit illegal immigration, reduce reliance on foreign workers, and create stricter international student policies. House hearings are predominantly border-related, with a rumor of impeachment of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Majorkas, as well.
Annual green cards for foreign nationals continue to remain limited with no exemptions, thanks to Sen. Grassley’s blockage in 2022. Instead of bringing those talents into the US, they went to competitors like China. Because of this, legislation continues to push to promote preferential treatment of those with master’s degrees or higher in essential fields like STEM jobs.
Fees for H-1B Visas and Green Cards
You’ve heard the news that USCIS’s fees may be increasing, particularly for those under work visas. This decision is part of the government’s goal of decreasing reliance on skilled foreign workers. By raising the fees for H-1B visas, immigration processing, and employment-based green cards, many employers will try harder to find comparable American workers.
This proposed wage regulation is still in progress, but it’s clear that, in some way or another, it will become more expensive to hire foreign workers and sponsor them for employment-based green cards in the near horizon.
While this won’t deter major corporations much, it will significantly impact small and medium businesses that need top talent to compete with the big fish.
Current Immigration Cases in the Supreme Court
Immigration cases that make it to the Supreme Court are vital to immigrants everywhere. The results of these decisions show legal experts which way immigration policies and the overall atmosphere in the US is leaning.
For instance, the 2022 oral arguments in the case of United States v. Texas will be decided this year. In that lawsuit, Texas and Louisiana stated that the enforcement guidelines stipulated by the Biden administration were unlawful and that the states have the right to challenge federal regulations. Title 42 is also on the docks, and if it isn’t successful, it could be the end of the post-pandemic emergency policy.
Right now, the Biden administration is in charge while the President remains behind the desk. That gives them two years to try to create reforms for the economy as a whole and improve the immigration system. H-1B visa holders and their employed spouses may continue to be an integral part of this goal as they pay taxes, hold important jobs, and reduce the labor shortage.
You may have missed the cut for Fiscal Year 2024’s H-1B visa, but you aren’t out of the running altogether! Contact our legal professionals at Visa2US to see how you, too, can improve your professional career path and boost the American economy while legislation still favors the skilled foreign worker.