Many employers in states like Florida with economies that are heavily dependent on tourism have been petitioning Congress for years to increase the annual H-2B visa quota. Due largely to a surging economy and plummeting unemployment rates, the departments of Labor and Homeland Security supported increased H-2B allocations in 2017 and 2018, and 15,000 visas were added to the 66,000 yearly cap. On May 8, a temporary rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register that increases the 2019 H-2B visa quota by 30,000.
Florida residents may be aware that President Trump has made cracking down on illegal immigration a top priority. Recently, the Trump administration has called for changes to the way that asylum seekers are processed. Among those changes include a proposal to charge individuals seeking asylum a fee as well as not allowing some to work in the United States. This has drawn criticism from immigration advocates as well as some lawmakers.
Immigrants who call Florida their home may have some understanding of how deportation works. Generally speaking, anyone who is not in the country legally could be sent back to their country of origin. This may be true even if the individual is a child. One case involving an 11-year-old was reopened after a judge initially ordered her to be sent back home without her mother or sister. It is believed that a clerical error resulted in the order to sent the child home alone.
The U.S. Department of State has been disappointing increasing numbers of visa applicants hoping for permission to live legally in Florida or elsewhere in the United States. A procedural change to the State Department's foreign affairs manual has given diplomats greater leeway to reject applications, especially if they believe that an applicant might use public services.
Individuals who are seeking asylum in the United States cannot be sent to Mexico while their cases are pending. Instead, they have the right to remain in Florida or other states until a judge can hear their case. This is according to a ruling from a federal judge in a matter involving 11 individuals from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The judge has ordered that the individuals be allowed into the country within two days.
Those living in Florida and across the nation may be aware of President Trump's desire to America's immigration policies. He has recently threatened to close the border with Mexico in an effort to stop what he perceives as a flow of drugs and criminals into the country. President Trump sent out a series of tweets explaining his position on the matter, and he blamed the immigration problem on weakness by the Democrats.
Companies in Florida and across the country are reacting to sudden and unexpected changes to the H-1B visa program. This program is particularly important to businesses hoping to hire workers with advanced skills from abroad, especially international students educated at U.S. universities. Less than two weeks before the April 1 deadline to file for an H-1B visa, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced a new procedure for premium processing of applications. Many businesses make use of premium processing for a fee of $1,410, which guarantees that they will receive a decision on the application within 15 days.
immigrants in Florida and elsewhere who are initially denied asylum in the United States have the right to fully appeal that decision, according to a March 7 ruling by a California federal appeals court. Current federal law only allows migrants to appeal rejections on technical grounds.
Individuals from Sudan, Haiti and El Salvador who are currently living in Florida will likely be able to do so for the foreseeable future. The same is true of citizens of Nicaragua who are in the country as part of the temporary protected status (TPS) program. Although President Trump has sought to scale down the program, court battles are making that difficult at the current time.
A change in employment rules for the spouses of H-1B visa holders in Florida and throughout the country may be coming. If the regulation is passed, spouses will no longer be eligible for employment. The Department of Homeland Security has completed its work on the potential policy change, and on Feb. 20, the proposal was received at the Office of Management and Budget.