USCIS Issues New Policy Guidance on Work Permits for Immigrants

 

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U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued policy guidance to address immigration officers' discretion to grant employment authorization to immigrants who are paroled into the United States and may be otherwise unauthorized to enter the country.

Under the parole program, immigrants may be granted temporary authorization to enter or remain in the country "for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit."

The new policy guidance "provides officers with helpful tools based on existing policies to aid in their discretionary adjudications and to help ensure that requests for employment authorization based on parole are properly adjudicated," according to the policy manual.

The new guidance is just one of several recent changes President Donald Trump's administration has made to immigration policies.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online and other trusted media outlets on the news.

Policy Meant to Address 'National Emergency'

USCIS said the updates were necessary in light of the "national emergency at the U.S. southern border where foreign nationals are entering the U.S. illegally." The policy provides a list of "positive and negative factors that an officer may consider when balancing the totality of the circumstances and determining whether an applicant warrants a favorable exercise of discretion." Positive factors include whether the foreign national is a primary caregiver or source of financial support to relatives, a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, or the immediate family member of a U.S. citizen. Negative factors include whether the person has a criminal history, violated parole terms or provided false information to obtain immigration benefits. 

(U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services)

New Rule Targets Immigrants on Public Assistance

The Trump administration also recently released a regulation that could dramatically cut the number of legal immigrants allowed to enter and stay in the U.S. by making it easier to reject green card and visa applications. Immigrants lawfully in the U.S. will be blocked from obtaining green cards if they use any of an array of social programs. In addition, those trying to immigrate into the United States will be denied entry if they can't persuade a consular officer that they will never use public-assistance programs.

(SHRM Online)

Hundreds Arrested in Worksite Immigration Raids

As part of an uptick in enforcement efforts, ICE agents raided seven agricultural processing plants Aug. 7 and detained about 680 immigrants who the agency said were unlawfully working at the plants. This was the largest workplace raid in recent years.

ICE officials said the employers may have violated federal law by knowingly employing undocumented immigrants. However, company employees said they complied with E-Verify—a federal electronic employment eligibility system—and that they never knowingly employed people who presented false documentation to work.

(SHRM Online)

Trump Introduces New Immigration Plan

In May, Trump introduced a new merit-based immigration proposal which could make permanent residency available to more foreign national workers. The plan provides opportunities for immigrants who have specific skills or current job offers in the U.S., with the requirement that they can demonstrate English proficiency and pass a civics exam. Trump said the proposal will create a "fair, lawful and modern immigration system" and the new system "protects American wages, protects American values, and attracts and best and brightest" immigrants. 

(SHRM Online)

 

Visit SHRM's resource page on workplace immigration

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