Meeting with the Department of Labor

Reported by Immigation Law Firm Jackson & Hertogs, which requested this secret meeting

The national Foreign Labor Certification Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) had a meeting with lawyers representing the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) last week in San Francisco.  Among the topics discussed was a solution to the large number of high tech cases remanded by DOL in the region covering California (Region VI) to the Employment Development Department (EDD) in Sacramento.  Over the last couple of months, several hundred alien employment certifications filed under RIR with EDD and other state employment offices within Region VI for high tech positions, have been remanded by DOL to EDD. The effect of this is that not only will EDD be even more backlogged than it already is but  these cases may sit on the shelves at EDD for several years before they are processed under “supervised recruitment”.

Bill Carlson (Chief, Foreign Labor Certification Unit) and Harry Sheinfeld (Litigation Counsel, Employment and Training Legal Services) of the DOL national office went to San Francisco to meet with Region VI Certifying Officer Martin Rios and his staff. Mr. Carlson and Mr. Sheinfeld also asked to meet with AILA representatives to discuss the issues. On the AILA side, the meeting was attended by both National and Region VI  AILA/DOL committee members. On the DOL side, Mr. Carlson and Mr. Sheinfeld attended along with Regional Administrator Armando Quiroz (Regional Administrator for Region VI) and John Humphrey (Regional Director, Pacific-Western Region). The meeting was hosted by Jackson & Hertogs’ office. Norman Plotkin is on the National AILA DOL liaison committee and also is a co-Chair for the Northern California Chapters liaison to Region VI.

After much discussion, the AILA representatives prepared a written summary of the proposals and presented them to DOL. The proposals include:

(a)  an immediate freeze on RIR remands until a resolution is reached on processing criteria;

(b)  for cases currently pending at DOL: 

  • DOL would adjudicate non-entry level positions according to standards that existed at  the time of filing;
  • if a job appears to be entry level, DOL would offer the employer an opportunity to provide  supplemental evidence showing the position's trueduties and requirements;
  • if specific recruitment evidence exists, the employer could provide such information;
  • if specific recruitment evidence does not exist, the employer would be permitted to retest the market with the specific position requirement;
  • for cases already remanded to the SWA, employers may request reconsideration and re-  
  • adjudication based on the above standards.

This of course was AILA's proposal and we are not sure whether DOL will put a freeze on the remands and/or adopt any of the other proposals made by AILA. We will keep you updated on any future developments regarding DOL policies.

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