DOJ & DOL Announce Joint Initiative Concerning Temporary Worker Visa Programs

By Peter J. Moser   August 6, 2018

On July 31, 2018, the Department of Justice and Department of Labor announced a joint initiative to crack down on employers “that prefer to hire temporary visa workers over qualified U.S. workers.” This new partnership, memorialized in a memorandum of understanding between the agencies, is consistent with President Trump’s “America first” agenda and is responsive to longstanding complaints from some quarters that temporary worker visa programs are overused to the detriment of U.S. workers. The two federal agencies have committed to greater information sharing, cross referrals, and cross training.

The DOJ’s statement announcing this initiative expressly references the H2-A and H2-B visa programs, which cover temporary seasonal workers. But, the popular H1-B visa program — which covers specialty occupations — has also come under increased scrutiny in recent years.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR EMPLOYERS

This new joint agency initiative is a reminder and confirmation of increased governmental scrutiny over temporary worker visa programs. Participating employers should take care to ensure that they are diligently following all applicable program requirements.

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