Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 14040742 (posted Apr. 7, 2014)"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 7, 2014
Need for lottery highlights importance of reforms to legal immigration system
WASHINGTON, DC — Doug Stump, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), commented on today's announcement from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that on the first day it can count petitions, USCIS has received more than enough to reach the 85,000 maximum H-1B visas that are available in fiscal year 2015. Because of the surge of petitions that were filed, a lottery will be held to determine which petitions received in the five-day filing period, the minimum time it can accept petitions, will actually be considered. All others will be rejected without review.
"There is a serious flaw in the laws governing H-1B visas. Instead of reacting to market needs, we discard the applications of tens of thousands of potentially job-creating immigrants every year," Mr. Stump noted. "I'm frustrated that we are still in this position. During the recession, we saw that the demand for H-1Bs slowed. The problem is that now that the recovery has been consistent for a few years, it's become increasingly clear that keeping the same cap we've had on these visas for more than ten years is absolutely the last thing we should be doing.
"The H-1B process is a complicated one. The petitions are filed by U.S. employers seeking to hire a specific foreign national in a specialty occupation. This is a process that involves a lot of hoops to jump through as it is. If a company files an H-1B petition, the least we should do is consider the request and either approve or reject it on its merits. It isn't rational to cap these visas arbitrarily and throw out thousands of applications without even a glance.
"Having the talent we need to do the skilled and specialized work that so many companies require in the globally competitive marketplace is vital to our economy and national interests. We need our legislators to take this issue seriously when they move forward on immigration reform because our legal immigration system is in desperate need of an overhaul in order to bring it into the 21st century," Mr. Stump concluded.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.