AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

New H-1B Regulation Defies Congressional Intent and Threatens to Hurt U.S. Economy

10/29/20 AILA Doc. No. 20102900. Business Immigration, H-1B & H-1B1 Specialty Occupation

October 29, 2020

George Tzamaras

Washington, DC – Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released an advanced copy of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking to amend DHS regulations governing the process by which United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) selects who can file H-1B petitions by altering its registration selection process. The rule prioritizes the selection of H-1B registrations for employers who are paying the highest prevailing wages, despite no Congressional mandate to do so.

According to Jennifer Minear, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), “This rule is yet another misguided and illegal attempt by this administration to target legal immigration. It is based on the false premise that how much money you make is the only measure of how much you contribute to the economy or society. What about the doctor practicing primary care in a rural area? The teacher working in the inner city? Or the H-1B worker who is not earning six figures but is creating jobs for U.S. workers? The false narratives about legal immigration promoted by rules of this nature are not only an insult to our American values, but they also threaten the very livelihood of American workers and businesses.”

Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, AILA’s Director of Government Relations, added, “This rule, even by the Trump administration’s own admission, clearly violates congressional intent, which rightfully prioritizes the selection of H-1B visas in the ‘order in which they are filed’ and does not limit who can file a petition to those who will pay the most. This surprise rule, built on a straw man, was neither announced in advance by the government nor reviewed by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The inaccuracies within the rule and the faulty process through which it was introduced make clear that this is a desperate attempt to weaken our legal immigration system and promote falsities about the workers who, contrary to what this rule implies, strengthen our economy.”


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.