DHS mandates in-person interviews for some immigrant workers
- Carrying out the Trump administration's immigration mandates, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will soon expand the pool of individuals required to undergo in-person interviews as part of the immigration process.
- The new requirement starts Oct. 1 and will apply to "employment-based green card applicants," according to law firm Ogletree Deakins — that is, individuals moving from an employment-based visa to permanent residency. Interviews were already part of the process, the firm says, but USCIS had, in recent decades, waived that requirement to avoid duplicating the efforts of other offices.
- USCIS' acting director said in a statement that the change reflects the Trump administration's efforts to "develop more robust screening and vetting procedures."
The Trump administration has always voiced its intention to step up immigration enforcement but, until recently, has made few moves in that direction, at least with respect to employment. Attorneys in that field tell HR Dive they haven't seen the promised increased Form I-9 audits, for example.
Now that the administration is staffing up, employers may see a shift — but perhaps not the kind they're hoping for. Many workplaces are facing talent shortages, and the hospitality industry is in particular need of help, according to the assistant director of immigration at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Earlier this week, she called for a visa system that is responsive to labor market needs; a process for unauthorized workers to adjust their status to legally work in their current jobs; a reliable and consistent employment verification system to hire new workers; and visa channels that allow a wider variety of immigrant entrepreneurs to build businesses.
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