In the President’s remarks at the State of the Union he made a case for the economic imperatives supporting Immigration Reform in 2014 and urged the House of Representatives to do its part and pass legislation this year. The Republican House delegation is having its annual retreat in advance of which they’ve publicly confirmed they will look to finalize their immigration principles in an effort to reach a direction on appropriate reforms. Key leaders within the Republican House have publicly been softening their usual hardline stance and more recently several leaders expressed support for legal status for prior undocumented individuals and workers. It is expected that the Republican House leadership will then gauge the response of their constituency and other House members before advancing legislation. There may be as many as 8 new bills introduced into the House to complete this process. Of course, this is an election year, so complicating this process is both the primary season, and the election itself. As a result timing of any action is difficult to predict. Most commentators we’ve been following suggest action is more likely right after the primaries, as some Republican House candidates fear a challenge from the right wing of their party if they back immigration reform. By holding key votes after the primaries, those members would be safe in voting in favor of such legislation
We will continue to monitor and update clients on any reforms that will have an impact on our field. Given that this process is just starting in the House, it is unlikely to result in any meaningful change for the H-1B filing season. Given our lack of available H-1B quota numbers in 2013 (because the Cap was hit in the first 5 days), we are seeing increased interest in the 2014 Cap lottery – for more information on how to qualify and what to expect please visit our H-1B Cap memo.
**This newsletter is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide legal advice.**