Anti-immigrant group, The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), has objected to a series of Biden administration rule reversals affecting the H1B visa route. In comments submitted to the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), FAIR opposed the Biden administration’s decision to revert to a lottery system for allocating H1B visas.
Under the Trump administration, a rule was implemented that the former President claimed would ‘protect the H1B visa program against unscrupulous employers and help American workers.’
Under the Trump rule – known as the Modification of Registration Requirement for Petitioners Seeking To File Cap-Subject H1B Petitions – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) was instructed to prioritize H1B petitions for higher-paid and highly-skilled foreign workers for H1B cap-subject visas.
FAIR supports Trump rule
In its comments to the DHS, FAIR said: “We strongly support the substance of the final rule and urge DHS to implement the rule without delay.”
“As DHS has reiterated throughout the rulemaking process, prioritizing wage levels in the registration selection process incentivizes employers to offer higher wages, or to petition for positions requiring higher skills and higher-skilled aliens that are commensurate with higher wage levels, to increase the likelihood of selection for an eventual petition.”
FAIR president, Dan Stein, said: “President Joe Biden often portrays himself as a man from the ‘working class’ who is a tireless defender of the American worker. However, his administration is set to postpone, by at least a year, an important rule change that prevents unscrupulous employers from using the H1B program to undercut American wages.”
Under current DHS rules, USCIS is instructed to select registrations at random utilizing a lottery system once demand for H1B visas exceeds the annual cap.
Stein said: “The random lottery selection process places no weight on wage or skill levels and fails to ensure businesses actually have access to the best and brightest workers possible. Worse, the lottery creates a scenario where American workers could be replaced by foreign workers who can be paid significantly less or who possess considerably lower skills.”
FAIR is now strongly urging the DHS to administer the Trump rule ‘without delay’.
The anti-immigrant group claimed: “Trump’s rule will allow DHS to more effectively protect US workers against competition from foreign labor at a time when US workers need protection more than ever.
“The acute fiscal harm that US workers are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic will only be exacerbated if employers are encouraged to continue to underpay H1B beneficiaries because of an outdated and illogical current wage structure,” the group added.
Under Trump, there was a sharp rise in the number of H1B visa application refusals. Meanwhile, following the former President’s work visa ban, which will remain in force until March 31, H1B visas became inaccessible to new applicants, prompting several legal challenges from several American states and business groups.
H1B visa registration for 2022 opened on March 9 and will remain open until 12 noon on March 25. Lottery winners are expected to be notified of when they can apply for a H1B visa by March 31.
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