LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Landscaper Pays $300K for H-2B Violations

"Ultimate Services Professional Grounds Management Inc., a Wolcott landscaping company that the U.S. Department of Labor claims violated federal law by failing to hire U.S. workers and underpaying temporary foreign workers, will pay $280,000 in back wages to 80 workers and nine job applicants and...

Judge Keeps 2008 H-2B Rules in Place...For Now: CATA v. Perez (E.D. Pa.)

"Plaintiffs (collectively, “CATA”) move to vacate regulations previously held invalid by this Court and remanded to the agency. ... In effect, the motion is tantamount to a petition for rulemaking. ... It aims at compelling Defendants to engage in rulemaking to fill regulatory gaps that...

DOJ Settles Lawsuit Against Texas Bus Company for Discriminating Against U.S. Workers

"The Justice Department announced today that it reached a settlement with Autobuses Ejecutivos LLC, doing business as Omnibus Express, a bus company based in Houston, Texas. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in August 2013 by the department under the Immigration and Nationality Act’s...

Slammer Time For Utah Immigration Attorney For Alien Smuggling, H-2B Visa Fraud

"James Hector Alcala, age 46, a Salt Lake City attorney, will serve 56 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit visa fraud and alien smuggling and one count of visa fraud. ... Alcala was indicted in July 2009 along with a Salt Lake City law firm, a property...

CA3 Vacates H-2B Private Wage Survey Regulation: CATA III

"We therefore act now to grant plaintiffs’ vacatur request of 20 C.F.R. § 655.10(f) and the 2009 Wage Guidance. We hold both provisions to be arbitrary and capricious and in violation of the APA. We direct that private surveys no longer be used in determining the mean rate of wage for...

DOL Speaks on CATA III, H-2B Prevailing Wage Determinations

"Effective December 8, 2014, the Department is no longer issuing prevailing wage determinations in the H-2B program based on employer provided wage surveys. This action is in response to the Court order entered December 5, 2014 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis , No...

Advance Copy of DOL Notice of Intent to Issue Declaratory Order re H-2B, Island Holdings; Request for Comment

"The Secretary of Labor (Secretary) is considering issuing on his own motion a declaratory order confirming that he has exclusive authority to make legal and policy determinations based on his statutory and regulatory authority to administer and enforce the H-2B temporary labor certification program...

Five Countries Added to H-2A, H-2B List: Federal Register

"The Secretary of Homeland Security has determined, with the concurrence of the Secretary of State, that 63 countries previously designated in the January 17, 2014 notice continue to meet the standards identified in that notice for eligible countries and therefore should remain designated as countries...

DOL Notice of Intent to Issue Declaratory Order re H-2B, Island Holdings

"The Secretary of Labor (Secretary) is considering issuing on his own motion a declaratory order confirming that he has exclusive authority to make legal and policy determinations based on his statutory and regulatory authority to administer and enforce the H–2B temporary labor certification...

2012 H-2B Program Rule Enjoined - Bayou II

"The Plaintiffs in this case challenge a regulation issued by the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) in connection with the H-2B visa program on grounds that DOL had no authority to issue the regulation. See Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States...

H-2B News from DOL, Dec. 23, 2014

"In response to inquiries from our stakeholders, the Department is elaborating on the procedures that will be utilized in implementing the decision in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis , No. 14-3557 (3rd Cir.), as stated below. Additional guidance may also be posted here...

DOL Extends Comment Period for H-2B Notice of Intent to Issue Declaratory Order

" On December 17, 2014, the Department of Labor (Department) published in the Federal Register a Notice of Intent to Issue Declaratory Order, Request for Comment, 79 Fed. Reg. 75179 (Notice). The Notice provided for the submission of public comments through January 16, 2015. The Department will...

DOL's Perez Pushes H-2B Comment Date to Feb. 2, 2015

"On December 17, 2014, the Office of the Secretary of Labor published a Federal Register notice of intent to issue declaratory order and request for comment (‘‘Notice’’). This Notice (79 FR 75179) states the Secretary of Labor (‘‘Secretary’’) is considering...

OFLC Issues Additional Guidance on H-2Bs, CATA, Surveys

"On Dec. 23, 2014, the Department announced procedures to implement the Court's decision in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Perez, No. 14-3557 (3rd Cir.Dec. 5, 2014), which were applicable to (1) employers with pending prevailing wage requests based on an employer-provided...

H-2B Cap Reached for the First Half of Fiscal Year 2015

"USCIS has received a sufficient number of petitions to reach the congressionally mandated limit, or “ cap ” on the total number of foreign nationals who may seek a visa or otherwise obtain H-2B status for the first half of fiscal year (FY) 2015. Jan. 26, 2015 was the final receipt date...

Federal Jury Awards $14 Million to Indian Guest Workers Victimized in Labor Trafficking Scheme by Gulf Coast Shipyard, Agents

"A federal jury in an SPLC case today awarded $14 million in compensatory and punitive damages to five Indian guest workers who were defrauded and exploited in a labor trafficking scheme engineered by a Gulf Coast marine services company, an immigration lawyer and an Indian labor recruiter who lured...

DOL OFLC FAQ on H-2B Private Wage Surveys

U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration Office of Foreign Labor Certification Frequently Asked Questions H-2B Program – Employer-Provided Surveys March 2015

Court Enjoins 2008 H-2B Regulations: Perez v. Perez

"On March 4, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District of Florida vacated the Department of Labor‘s (DOL) 2008 H-2B regulations on the ground that DOL lacks authority under the Immigration and Nationality Act to issue regulations in the H-2B program. Perez v. Perez, No. 3:14...

GAO: Increased Protections Needed for H-2A, H-2B Visa Workers

"Why GAO Did This Study Tens of thousands of foreign nationals travel to the United States each year under the H-2A and H-2B visa programs. These programs are designed to fill a temporary need that U.S. workers are unavailable to fill. Employers may use third parties to recruit these workers...

AILA Letter to USCIS: Continue to Process H-2B Cases

"AILA sent the following message to USCIS, asking the agency to resume processing of H-2B petitions already filed, and to accept and process H-2B petitions supported by temporary labor certifications issued prior to March 4, 2015. Dear Director Rodríguez: The American Immigration Lawyers...

Relief in Sight for H-2B Visas?

I have read DOL email chatter about a joint DOL/DHS Interim Final Regulation (IFR) to be published by April 30th that would address the crisis flowing from the March 4, 2015 Perez v. Perez decision. Watch this space for further news. DOL and/or DHS may make an announcement soon, perhaps Monday. Meanwhile...

Official from DOL: Next Steps for H-2B

"From: "Surbey, Jason - OPA" <Surbey.Jason@dol.gov> Date: March 16, 2015 11:01:03 AM CDT To: Dan Kowalski Dan, please see this joint statement from DOL and DHS on next steps for the H-2B Program: On March 4, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District of...

USCIS Resumes H-2B Adjudications; Premium Processing Remains Suspended

"Today, March 17, 2015, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will resume adjudications of H-2B petitions, but will continue to suspend premium processing until further notice. Monday, March 16, 2015 the Department of Labor (DOL) filed an unopposed motion to stay the March 4 order of the...

BREAKING: Stay Granted in Perez v. Perez H-2B Litigation

"Defendants’ Unopposed Motion for Limited Relief from the Vacatur Order and Judgment (Doc. 16) is GRANTED. It is further ordered that the Court’s Injunction Order dated March 4, 2015 (Doc. 14) is STAYED or otherwise held in abeyance until and including April 15, 2015." - Perez v...

OFLC on H-2B Restart - Mar. 18, 2015

Prohibition of DOL H-2B Processing Temporarily Lifted "On March 18, 2015, the federal district court in the Northern District of Florida issued an order effectively permitting DOL to restart its processing of H-2B applications under the 2008 rule immediately and to continue processing applications...