Worldwide ERC® Public Policy Advocacy Roundup

For all matters that affect the workforce mobility industry, Worldwide ERC® is advocating for public policy solutions.

As Congress returns from recess, all eyes are on public policy leaders and the Biden Administration for what comes next in the economic stimulus package alongside a new U.S. Citizenship Act introduced in the House and Senate, and issues concerning the H-1B and H-2B caps. For all matters that affect the workforce mobility industry, Worldwide ERC® continues to advocate for public policy solutions.

We are Advocating for What the Industry Needs in the Economic Stimulus Package

Over the past week, policy makers in the U.S. Congress continue to work through legislation that will form the next economic stimulus package aimed at providing relief for Americans and the economy. With Congressional leaders returning from recess next week, they will continue work on the economic stimulus legislation that is expected to be finalized by early- to mid-March, right in time for tax season. As Congress continues to iron out the details, Worldwide ERC® is advocating for what the industry needs in the package. It is more important than ever for those in the workforce mobility industry to send our 1 February letters to their Senators and Representatives advocating for small business relief, COVID-19 liability protection, and reinstatement of the Moving Expense Deduction.

We are Advocating for Postponement of the H-1B Wage Prioritization Lottery Rule

This week, Worldwide ERC® filed a comment with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) advocating for and supporting the postponement of a rule that would prioritize the selection of H-1B cases based on the highest wage levels. We also filed a much more detailed comment on this issue on 30 November 2020, in which we disagreed with several of the underlying principles justifying the need for the changes outlined in the notice and requested the delay of implementation until the Fiscal Year 2023 H-1B cap season.

We Are Advocating for Bipartisan Immigration Reform

On 11 February, Worldwide ERC® submitted a letter to leaders of the House Judiciary Committee’s Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee asking for important reforms to our immigration system for the mobility community that provide access to global talent and create a more predictable and efficient employment-based immigration system.

On 18 February, Senator Menendez (D-NJ) along with other Democratic Senators and Representative Sanchez (D-CA) introduced the United States Citizenship Act of 2021 (USCA). The timing of the introduction of the bill showcases the Biden Administration is prioritizing immigration reform as a key public policy goal. The bill however will face the challenge of gaining at least 9 Republicans to sponsor it. Whether Congress would consider moving the bill in separate pieces to make it easier to move forward remains unknown.

In general, the bill would:

  • Create a path to citizenship for Dreamers;
  • Reduce the employment-based green card backlogs through a number of ways such as recapturing hundreds of thousands of employment-based green cards that went unused, allowing immigrants waiting over ten years to not be subject to the green card cap; eliminate the employment-based per-country green card limits; provide 30,000 more green cards to low-skilled workers; exempt all STEM PhDs from the green card cap; provide 10,000 green cards for regional economic development;
  • Allow for one-year renewals of L-1 intracompany transfers or O-1 extraordinary ability professionals waiting in the backlogs over their status limit;
  • Create a statutory basis for H-4 work authorization while preventing H-1B children from aging out.
  • However, the bill would also authorize the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Secretary of Labor, when determining the order in which visas should be distributed among qualified H-1B workers to prioritize based on the wages offered by their employers. A summary of the full USCA bill can be accessed here.

Worldwide ERC® will be tracking the bill and will provide updates should the bill move forward.

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How This Impacts Mobility

As work on the economic stimulus package continues, it is critical that the needs of the workforce mobility industry are prioritized. Please share our letters with your U.S. Senators and Representatives. Worldwide ERC® aims to amplify your needs in all our public policy advocacy letters and comments to Congress and the federal government, as well as our support for similar advocacy efforts across the industry. Additionally, we will continue to keep our members informed with the most up to date information as USCA rolls out. Should any member have questions about these issues, please reach out to our Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.

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