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New Federal Budget Is Mixed Bag for Immigration

BY IN Immigration On May 9, 2017

President Trump signed the nearly $1.2 trillion spending bill approved by Congress last week that keeps the federal government running for the remainder of the 2017 fiscal year, ending on Sept. 30. The new budget largely overlooks spending for most of Trump’s anti-immigration proposals and stepped-up enforcement measures.

Still, the new federal budget contains both good and bad news for immigrants looking to come and stay in the U.S.


EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended

The EB-5 Regional Center Program will continue in place through Sept. 30, without any changes.

An EB-5 program allows a foreign national and her or his family to get green cards by investing $1 million in a regional center that creates at least 10 full-time jobs. A regional center is a business—often a real-estate project—approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the regional center is located in a rural or high unemployment area, a foreign national only needs to invest $500,000. The job requirement remains the same.

Currently, USCIS is issuing EB-5 regional center visas to foreign investors from all countries except China, according to the May 2017 Visa Bulletin. Take a look at my previous blog on how to choose a regional center or contact us if you need assistance.


More Funding for Deportations

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the agency responsible for deportations, has stepped up monitoring, detention, and deportation using tactics that in some cases have violated due process. Trump wanted funding to hire 10,000 additional ICE agents. However, Congress rejected that request.

Under the new budget, ICE will receive $6.4 billion, including $617 million for additional detention beds and removing undocumented immigrants.

Read my blog post on what to do to protect yourself—whether you’re a documented or undocumented immigrant—when approached by ICE agents.


More Visas for Temporary Workers?

The new budget gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the ability to raise the cap on the number of H-2B temporary visas issued by USCIS. The H-2B program enables U.S. employers to bring citizens from certain countries to the U.S. to work in temporary nonagricultural jobs. Read more about the H-2B temporary visa program on our website. 

In March, the 66,000 H-2B visa cap for the current fiscal year was reached. The new budget allows up to 69,000 additional H-2B visas this fiscal year.


Contact Us

The Alcorn Immigration Law team can provide more information about the EB-5 regional center or H-2B visa programs. We can also help you find other visa or green card options for you or your employees. Contact us.


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Sophie Alcorn

Sophie Alcorn is a Stanford-educated, New York Times-featured expert on United States Immigration Law. She founded Alcorn Immigration Law, Silicon Valley's premier immigration and nationality law firm, in 2015. Sophie and her team obtain visas and green cards for highly-motivated individuals to build the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley, having successfully handled hundreds of immigration cases for investors, established and venture-backed corporations, founders, and families. Sophie hails from Orange County, where she was chosen as Top Attorney by Orange County Metro Magazine in 2012 at the age of 28. In 2015 Sophie joined the ranks of The National Advocates Top 40 under 40, a select group of young attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership, influence, and stature. Sophie is a public speaker on immigration law who conveys the nuances of immigration law in a clear, understandable manner. She lives in Mountain View with her family.

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