Since the introduction of the Executive Order “Buy American, Hire American” (BAHA), federal agencies, including DHS and USCIS, are following the directive to focus on protecting U.S. workers and U.S. resources. The USCIS website was updated as of Dec. 20, 2017 regarding BAHA and below are key highlights from this update, which is essentially a recap of all USCIS’ activity this year under the BAHA directive:

  1. USCIS is taking direction from its July 26, 2017, stakeholder call to make some changes. During the call, individuals expressed the need to continue improving the integrity of the immigration system to protect both U.S. workers and foreign workers.
  2. E-Verify: USCIS stresses that E-Verify is strongly encouraged for all employers
  3. Reporting Fraud: USCIS reiterates resources and programs for the public to report fraud-designated email addresses specifically for H-1B and H-2B fraud. USCIS will also enhance their site visit programs, and will specifically focus on employers who petition for L-1B employees working at a third party worksite. Lastly, USCIS will be enhancing information sharing with the Department of State, Department of Labor, and Department of Justice to improve the immigration system and combat fraud.
  4. H-1B data: As we have seen recently, USCIS has been publishing reports on the H-1B visa, including types of workers, trends, and approval/denial rates. EAD reports have also been issued.
  5. Lastly, USCIS summarizes policy memorandum that have been issued this year. These include:
    1. Memo on how to classify TN nonimmigrant Economists under NAFTA.
    2. Memo that all nonimmigrant petitions, including H-1B, will be adjudicated as new and deference will not be given for extensions.
    3. Memo on the definition of “affiliate” or “subsidiary” for determining the ACWIA fee- this fee is important as it pays for U.S. workers to attend job training and receive low-income scholarships.