On November 20, 2014, the White House announced a variety of executive actions on immigration that purported to have broad-reaching effect. The more widely publicized aspects of these executive actions purported to expand the Deferred Action program for Childhood Arrivals, to expand the deferred action program to include certain parents of U.S. Citizens and lawful permanent residents, and to strengthen a variety of border protection initiatives. While the expanded deferred action programs have been mired in Federal Court Litigation from the onset and the subject of broad coverage in the national media, the deferred action initiatives related to highly skilled immigrants have received far less attention, both from the press and the agencies involved in implementing the executive actions.
On December 31, 2015, more than one year after the executive actions were first announced, USCIS released a Proposed Rule related to the portions of the executive action aimed at retaining highly-skilled workers in the U.S. At 181 pages, these rules potentially affect a very large segment of the nation’s highly skilled immigrant worker population. While this is a Proposed Rule, and subject to change in its final version, it benefits any employer currently employing highly skilled workers to know at least the basic outline of the Proposed Rule. Some segments of the Rule have the potential to be highly beneficial to employers and their highly skilled immigrant workers, others only raise questions and concerns. Read more here