Biden Administration Blows Off Rules to Extend Guestworker Visas
The Biden administration is extending the time that foreign guestworkers can stay and work after their visas expire. This auto-extension is problematic on many levels, including the fact that some illegal aliens are among the beneficiaries.
Guestworkers are now entitled to remain in the U.S. for 12 additional months on top of the initial six-month grace period for a total of 18 months beyond the terms of their visas.
If this is the first you’ve heard, it’s because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published the new rules without giving the public any advance notice. That shortcut was a clear violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), says Robert Law at the Center for Immigration Studies.
The new rules are intended to help the overloaded U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issue more work permits, which can be used by refugees, asylum-seekers, and a broad category of illegal aliens on tentative status. While claiming it’s too swamped with requests to go through the usual vetting process, USCIS expects some 400,000 aliens, including illegal ones, to get the extension.
USCIS justified its extension with concern that immigrants could face hardships over lost jobs. (Never mind any negative impact that may have on American workers.) But the Congressional Research Service (CRS) indicates that USCIS’ claim of an “emergency” does not pass muster. Citing a Fifth Circuit court case, CRS noted, “The mere existence of a deadline is usually insufficient to establish good cause.”
Law told the Washington Times that USCIS pushed through the extension so it could focus attention on granting more permits to newcomers. Whatever “emergency” the agency faces is self-inflicted because Team Biden has vastly expanded the population of illegal aliens with tentative legal status, so evermore people are eligible to apply.
This is all good with immigration enthusiasts like the Koch LIBRE Initiative, which hailed the moves, even as 12 million Americans remain unemployed.
In two administrative missteps, DHS dispensed with the prescribed notice-and-comment period for new regulations, and the White House Office of Management and Budget, which gives final approval to rules, blew off a required meeting with stakeholders, Law said.
Federal judges repeatedly rejected the Trump administration’s attempts to circumvent APA requirements. The courts should take similar action this time.