DOL’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) announced that on January 1, 2018, it received 4,500 applications for temporary labor certification under the H-2B program covering more than 81,600 H-2B positions. Except where a statutory exemption applies, DHS may only issue up to 33,000 H-2B visas for the second half of FY2018.
USCIS announced it has reached the H-2B cap for the first half of FY2018. The final receipt date for new H-2Bs requesting a start date before April 1, 2018, was December 15, 2017. USCIS continues to accept H-2B petitions that are exempt from the congressionally mandated cap, as well as cap-subject petitions for the second half of FY2018.
ICE issued a statement after receiving reports that individuals are impersonating Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents and knocking on doors in the Houston area, telling residents to evacuate—presumably so these imposters can rob the empty homes. DHS encourages members of the public who receive such visitors to ask to see properly labeled badges or credentials. Yesterday, The Hill reported that during Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, ICE is not conducting immigration enforcement operations in the affected area and will not ask for immigration status or papers at any shelter. USCIS offered measures, available on a case-by-case basis upon request, for individuals impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
The Washington Post reports that President Trump endorsed a new bill in the Senate aimed at slashing legal immigration levels over a decade. Trump appeared with Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) at the White House today to unveil the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, a modified version of a bill the senators first introduced in April to cut immigration by half from the current level of more than one million green cards per year granting foreigners permanent legal residence in the United States.