President Trump is expected to issue an executive order soon directing the Homeland Security, Labor, and State departments to review and revise U.S. employment-based immigration rules. The executive order will likely require these agencies to study the impact of employment-based immigration on U.S. jobs and wages, including reports on whether the H-1B, L-1, and B-1 programs cause injury to U.S. workers. It is also expected to require these agencies to propose regulations limiting the use of specific programs, including the B-1 business visitor category, the optional and curricular practical training programs for F-1 students (OPT and CPT), and the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. As well, the executive order may expand the scope of employer site visits to include additional visa categories subject to job site visits. E-Verify may also become mandatory for certain immigration programs or categories.
Though an executive order can become effective immediately, any new regulations governing immigration must comply with federal rulemaking procedure, which takes months to complete. An order may, however, result in a prompt increase in worksite inspections and more restrictive adjudications by immigration agencies. We will keep our clients apprised of developments. Unless and until a change in strategy is in fact warranted, clients should proceed as planned on all immigration matters.