On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (otherwise known as the Stimulus Bill). The final version of the legislation included a restriction on the use of the H-1B program by companies and institutions which have received Targeted Asset Relief Protection (TARP) funds under the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 or Section 13 of the Federal Reserve Act. However, the final version of the Stimulus Bill did not contain a provision requiring companies who benefit from this legislation to verify the employment eligibility of all employees through the E-Verify system.
As of February 17, 2009, companies and institutions which have received TARP funding or credit directly from the Federal Reserve System will not be able to hire a new foreign national employee and petition for the foreign national employee for H-1B status unless the employer complies with the recruitment and displacement attestations for H-1B dependent employers. The exemption from the H-1B dependent employer requirements for employers who will be petitioning for an exempt H-1B nonimmigrant specifically does not apply in this provision. The U.S. Treasury Department regularly posts updates to its official list of TARP funding recipients at http://www.treas.gov/initiatives/eesa/transactions.shtml. This list currently includes approximately 400 companies and institutions (including banks, insurance companies, and automobile companies to name a few) that have accepted TARP funding and thus are subject to the H-1B restrictions contained in this legislation. However, this Web site does not include recipients of direct Federal Reserve credit. Recipients of funding through the Federal Reserve’s Discount Window program are not disclosed by the Federal Reserve to the public. This provision will only sunset on February 18, 2011.