This Week in Immigration News: House Proposes to Add Ireland to E-3 Program, Dreamer Negotiations, and More…


The House Proposes to Extend the E-3 Program to Irish Nationals

On November 20, 2018, the House of Representatives introduced H.R. 7164, a bill proposing to add Ireland to the E-3 nonimmigrant visa program. Currently, the E-3 visa program is available to American employers seeking to hire Australian nationals to perform services in a specialty occupation for a temporary period of time.

The E-3 visa program functions much like the H-1B program. The program is governed by the same labor certification standards that apply to the H-1B visa program, and much of the same evidence is required. The E-3 visa classification is numerically limited, with a maximum of 10,500 visas available annually for Australian nationals.

Negotiations to Protect Dreamers

The Democratic party has now taken control of the United States House of Representatives, and legislation to protect Dreamers is on the agenda. Nancy Pelosi, who will serve as the Speaker of the House beginning in January, has been a pivotal figure in the fight to protect dreamers. On Thursday, Nancy Pelosi made clear that Democrats in the House would not be open to the idea of approving funding for the President’s border wall in exchange for protections for Dreamers.

As you may recall, earlier this year, the President stated that he would veto any piece of legislation protecting Dreamers, if he did not receive funding for his border wall.

Recently, the President has threatened to force a partial government shutdown if he does not receive the necessary funding.

Immigration Raids

Targeted enforcement operations commonly referred to as immigration raids continue on a nationwide basis. In early November, investigators with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security made 22 arrests at two popular Mexican restaurants in Lincoln, Nebraska, as part of an investigation into immigration violations. 19 of those arrested came from Mexico, 2 from Honduras, and 1 individual from Guatemala.

On December 6, 2018, ICE confirmed the arrests of 58 individuals in the Boston area during a 5-day immigration raid that ended on December 4, 2018. According to a government press release, those arrested were charged with violating U.S. immigration laws. 30 of those arrested had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, 33 had criminal charges pending, 15 were previously released from local law enforcement custody, correctional facilities, and/or court custody with an active detainer, 9 were referred for criminal prosecution to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, 9 were previously removed from the United States and found to have entered illegally, and 4 individuals had active Interpol Red Notices.

Those arrested hailed from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, France, Jamaica, Haiti and Antigua, and other nations.

Click here to read the press release.