New Budget Funds Key Immigration Programs Through September 30, 2017

Written by Alexander J. Segal on

Alexander J. Segal's picture

On May 5, 2017, President Donald Trump signed legislation to fund the federal government through September 30, 2017.

Notably, the legislation reauthorizes the following programs without changes:

  • Employment-Based Fifth Preference Regional Center Program;
  • Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program;
  • Conrad 30 Waiver Program; and
  • E-Verify.

H2B cap

Please see our updated May 2017 Visa Bulletin for the application final action dates for the EB4 special immigrant non-minister religious workers and EB5 immigrant investor preferences [see article].

The spending bill provides for an increase to the H2B cap for the rest of the fiscal year under certain circumstances. Under the rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may consult with the Department of Labor (DOL) to increase the H2B cap. However, this increase may not be by more than the highest number of individuals who participated in the returning worker program in any year in which the returning worker program was in place. The increase to the H2B cap may only be triggered if the DHS and DOL determine that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers to fill the available positions.

Notably, the spending bill does not provide extra funding for President Trump's proposed border wall. However, it does provide money for extra border security measures such as improving existing fencing and adding border security technology. The legislation also adds funding for interior enforcement and for hiring new Immigration Judges.

Reference: AILA Doc. No. 17050365 (May 5, 2017)