In The Know - September 2013

9/10/2013
"In the Know" Updates

​September 2013

​This month: The OIG’s L visa report; help ACIP with U.S.-Canada border issues; California regulates international labor recruitment; upcoming webinars and liaison meetings.


The Ca​pitol View


Congress is returning to Washington this week with an immigration deal no closer at hand than when they left in August. A new wrinkle in this debate is the recent report on L visas issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG). On the one hand, the report merely confirms what we have known for many years – USCIS and DOS inconsistently adjudicate L visa applications leading to unpredictability and frustration for employers. On the other hand, the OIG appears to take a narrower view of what should constitute specialized knowledge than we believe is r​easonable in today’s global economy.

The OIG also notes problems with L decisions at U.S.-Canada ports-of-entry. This is just another in the list of problems ACIP and our colleagues at the Canadian Employee Relocation Council (CERC) have been working on for the past two years. As noted in my July In the Know, the U.S. and Canadian governments have agreed to “Explore the feasibility of incorporating a trusted employer concept in the processing of business travelers between Canada and the United States.” This is great news but we need your help in figuring out how to build a Trusted Employer program that meets your needs. Please help us help you by taking ten minutes to answer this confidential survey by September 15th.

Outside th​e Beltway


Last month I reported on the Challenge of Human Trafficking, a complex issue in which domestic and international criminal activity is being woven together with labor recruitment and employment issues. California is on path to pass SB 516, a bill that would require foreign labor contractors to register with the Labor Commissioner. Employers using the services of a non-registered labor contractor could be held jointly and severally liable for any acts or omissions of the labor contractor. ACIP and other business organizations worked to amend SB 516 to ameliorate the provisions which would have inadvertently impacted employers recruiting their own employees abroad and J visa exchange programs. The governor is expected to sign the bill this week and the registration provisions will take effect July 1, 2015.

We believe that the issue of human trafficking and regulation of international labor recruitment will continue to gain the attention of governments worldwide. At the end of August, DHS held a meeting where they discussed initiatives to combat trafficking. The employer perspective was not specifically represented or discussed in the meeting, but they hinted that the agency will soon announce its first partnership with a private company in their efforts to combat trafficking. This is a good thing, but governments need to be smart about separating the criminal activity from legitimate global employment. This is another area where a Trusted Employer program could be part of the solution. The value of rewarding employers who play by the rules was recently recognized by the Migration Policy Institute in its most recent report “Attracting and Selecting from the Global Talent Pool – Policy challenges.

ACIP will be advocating for this and other smart solutions at the upcoming High Level Dialogue of immigration ministers at the United Nations as well as at a forum at Georgetown University. We will also be using the results of our benchmarking survey on employer immigration metrics to educate policymakers about how much time and money your organizations spend on immigration compliance. The full survey will be sent to ACIP members later this month.

What’s ​Ahead


Summer is over and there are a variety of ACIP webinars, agency liaison meetings and other events for you to attend for free. Check out the events section of our website for more details:

  • September 25, from 8:30 AM to 12:45 PM, I will be speaking at a Deloitte Consulting LLP event at Georgetown University - “Implementing Immigration Reform: Imagining the Possibilities – A Symposium.”

  • September 26 at 2:00 PM – Webinar on Spousal issues: Work Authorization for Spouses and Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

  • October 17 at 2:00 PM – Employer Immigration Metrics: 2013 Survey Results

  • October 18 – Stakeholders Meeting, Vermont Service Center, St. Albans, Vermont

  • October 24 – CIS Ombudsman’s Annual Conference in Washington, DC

  • Early-November – Issues related to labor recruiters – Federal and State Laws

  • Early-December – Washington, DC Legislative Update

  • June 2-5, 2014 – Symposium 2014 in Alexandria, Virginia.

In closing, I would like to welcome the following members to ACIP: Cobham Management Services, Inc., and PPG Industries, Inc.

Until next month,
Lynn

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