United States: Immigration Policy Updates

Immigration continues to be a topic of discussion in Washington, and the landscape of immigration law may change, if members of Congress and the administration can agree on bipartisan solutions. Below you will find a summary of recent immigration policy developments and what to expect in the near future:

  • The House Judiciary Committee is considering acting on legislation in several areas before the August recess.

    1. Following the administration's rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and termination of the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) program for individuals from several countries, legislation is being drafted to provide relief for the "Dreamers" and those with TPS who have been in the United States for a significant period of time. Termination of both programs has been enjoined by federal district courts, so the programs continue to function, but it is possible that the administration's actions will be upheld by appellate courts or the Supreme Court. A legislative solution would provide long-term immigration status to both groups of individuals. In connection with the legislation being drafted, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing at 10:00 a.m. on March 6 titled "Protecting Dreamers and TPS Recipients."
    2. Legislation to remove the per-country caps on employment-based immigrant visas ("green cards") is being considered. Currently, no more than 7 percent of employment-based green cards can be granted to citizens of the same country, which has created significant backlogs for citizens of several countries, especially those from China and India. Several industries have been concerned about this provision, including the IT and the nursing industry, particularly given the shortage of nurses domestically. 
    3. Legislation is being drafted to reform the agricultural guest worker program (H-2A). While there is no numerical limitation on H-2A visas, U.S. employers' need for agricultural guest workers can be very time-sensitive due to farming schedules, and the application process is often difficult to navigate and slow. It is unclear whether this effort, like those in the past, will include any E-Verify requirements, which would make it mandatory to verify the employment eligibility of any new agricultural guest workers in a federally maintained database.
    4. Legislation is being considered to provide certain Irish nationals access to unused E-3 nonimmigrant visas. The E-3 visa classification applies to nationals of Australia, and the annual limit of 10,500 E-3 visas has never been reached since the program's inception in 2005.
    5. Legislation is being considered to add Portugal to the list of countries eligible for E-1 and E-2 visas, which would allow citizens of Portugal to qualify for temporary visas in the United States as treaty traders (individuals involved in trade between the two countries) or treaty investors (individuals operating or working for businesses owned by citizens of the treaty country).
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) at the White House a proposed rule that would eliminate eligibility for employment authorization for certain H-4 dependent spouses (spouses of H-1B visa holders). This would reverse an Obama administration rule and affect approximately 90,000 H-4 visa holders. There is no designated deadline by which the White House must decide whether to proceed with the rule.
  • The DHS has also sent a final rule to the OMB regarding the EB-5 investor visa program – a program that allows foreign investors who meet certain criteria to qualify for a green card. The proposed regulation was originally released in the final days of the Obama administration. The proposal raises the direct investment threshold from $1 million to $1.8 million and the "targeted employment areas" (TEA) investment threshold from $500,000 to $1.35 million. The rule also reconfigures the calculation for "targeted employment areas," investment into which allows an investor to be eligible under the lower investment threshold.
  • The White House, under the leadership of Jared Kushner, is meeting with senators, members and outside groups to craft legislation making changes to the legal immigration system. This comes after the President's comments at the State of the Union address and just days ago to a group of governors that he believes legal immigration should be increased. The concept is in its early stages, and it is unknown what additional provisions related to border security, "Dreamers," TPS, etc. may be included.
  • H.J. Res. 46, which terminates the national emergency declaration President Trump issued to reallocate funding for the border wall, passed the House last week with the support of 13 Republican members. The Senate resolution is privileged and, therefore, requires consideration by the Senate. The Senate is expected to consider it by mid-March. It is anticipated to pass with the support of several Republicans, but it is unlikely that either chamber will have the votes to override a presidential veto.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Topics
Related Articles
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions