Obama administration requests stakeholder recommendations on immigration improvements

6 Jan 15

UNITED STATES

The Obama administration has issued a Notice of Request for Information on immigration policy in the Federal Register to solicit input from stakeholders on modernizing and streamlining the U.S. visa system. This follows President Obama’s November announcement on immigration executive action and subsequent memorandum to the secretaries of the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security, directing them to issue recommendations on improving the legal immigration system.

In the Presidential Memorandum, the secretaries of State and Homeland Security were instructed to lead an interagency effort with stakeholder involvement to develop recommendations on immigration reform by March 22, 2015. Specifically, the administration wants recommendations regarding:

  • Streamlining and improving the legal immigration system, including visa processing, with a focus on reforms that reduce government costs, improve services for applicants, reduce burdens on employers, and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the system;
  • Ensuring that the government issues all of the immigrant visas that Congress provides for every year, remaining consistent with demand; and
  • Modernizing the information technology infrastructure underlying the visa-processing system, with a goal of reducing redundant systems, improving the experience of applicants and enabling better public and congressional oversight.

The request in the Federal Register seeks thorough input from all stakeholders, including employers, visa applicants, policy advocates and the public at large in relation to the topics outlined above. A specific list of questions on each topic and instructions for submission can be found within the Federal Register announcement here. Comments must be submitted by Jan. 29, 2015 for consideration, prior to final recommendations to the administration.

BAL Analysis: Employers are encouraged to read the Federal Register request and submit input on any topics for which they feel they have valuable feedback. BAL continues to work with several of the leading business immigration trade associations, and will be advising companies and coalitions on the executive actions.

For additional information or questions:

Lynden Melmed, Partner
Washington, D.C.
Direct: 202.842.5830
lmelmed@balglobal.com

Christiana Kern, Legislative Analyst
Direct: 202.842.5831
ckern@balglobal.com

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