Should USCIS suspend processing applications if there is a recession?

New flippy
Feb 3 122 Comments

If there are mass layoffs should USCIS wait until all qualified Americans are employed before bringing in foreign workers?

comments

Want to comment? LOG IN or SIGN UP
TOP 122 Comments
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft yuiopu
      Let’s see.. so suddenly millions of people flood the market with home sales because they have to leave. Banks would go down. Local economies will crash as demand drops.
      But hey on the plus side you can buy cheap foreclosures ;-)
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Yuiopu, I'm not suggesting that approved h1b's be cancelled. Just no more new applications or transfers until all qualified Americans are employed. Extensions should still be processed normally.

      Nobody wants to disrupt the economy like that, the question is about prioritizing unemployed Americans over unemployed foreigners, not forcing gainfully employed people to leave.
      Feb 3
    • Microsoft yuiopu
      Ah got it. This makes so much sense and I think this is how is works already.
      Feb 3
    • Zillow Group / EnganKW36
      How does that change from the current test? What it sounds like you’re suggesting is where the bar has already been set for all periods not just recession?

      Also what about the treaty-based employment visas? Does the US break those treaties in times of recession? Sounds like a surefire way to worsen the downturn.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Current test really just checks that the employer doesn't lay off an American and replace them with an h1b. I would like to see a broader test to see that there are not unemployed Americans in that labor category in the same region as the employer.

      So if company A is hiring and company B is shutting down the current test just checks that company A isn't letting go any American before hiring the h1b and ignores the unemployed former company B people. I would like consideration given that the people let go from company B could fill that role first and hire the h1b only if none of them are suitable.

      One way to do that could be by interviewing only Americans in the first month of interviews. Another way to do it would be to have DOL monitor the number of unemployed people in that category and auto decline LCA if it's trending higher than the historical average. Or a combination where employers only have to do the American only interviews when DOL says unemployment is unusually high and skip that step in tight labor market.

      The same idea should apply to treaty based visas but obviously in that case it's harder in practice to make the change and it means updating the treaty. That should eventually happen but will probably take years. Right now NAFTA is being negotiated so it would be a good time to update it to allow all three countries to apply a labor test.
      Feb 3
    • Zillow Group / EnganKW36
      The problem is that assumes all companies have the same hiring standards.

      It’s like saying a Michelin-star restaurant can’t get a cook on h-1b because there are unemployed American McDonald’s cooks in the same region.

      You could improve it a little with degrees and qualifications, but a masters degree doesn’t guarantee high performance.

      Also, I’ve never seen two tech companies hiring for the exact same signals. That only works if every single company is looking for the exact same things in someone for that position.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      I'm not assuming that at all.

      See my suggested method of proving there's no American: interview only Americans for 60 days and approve LCA only after none can be found.

      Then if after 60 days only fry cooks applied for the chef job you can hire that h1b chef. But if a few nearby Michelin star restaurants closed down then good odds some good candidates will have applied.

      This process can be required of employers only when the unemployment rate in that labor category is trending above the historical average, and can be skipped in tight labor markets for efficiency where macro data already showed a shortage.

      This would be an update to the requirement on an LCA to go beyond attestations that no American will be "displaced" and actually show evidence that no American is available to do the job.

      In other words make the LCA process more like the PERM labor certification, but current and not carried over from previous years.

      I think that solves your concern.
      Feb 3
    • Zillow Group / EnganKW36
      To stick with the same analogy; imagine McDonald’s/BK has been going through massive automation overhauls, increasing unemployment rate above historical norms. So now, the Michelin star restaurant has to close for 60 days while waiting to get a new world-class chef from France, because of the employment period prescribed.

      Same thing could apply for teams in tech; you’d have to shelve projects as you have to wait 2 months to hire people while international competitors are making headway. 60 days is more than enough time to build an mvp. And think about how many tech giants came about in the aftermath of the last recession, when unemployment was still above norms.

      I guess I just don’t agree with the premise that work visa holders cause more harm to the American worker than they do good. I’m sure the small number of them cause some downward pressure on wages, but it is strongly offset by the fact that they help the US market remain competitive.

      But a lot of these things are implicit and hard to quantify, so it’s hard for either of us to say which way would be better for us citizens.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      As a hiring manager I'm familiar with looking at my roadmap and figuring out when I need to start hiring in other to deliver.

      What you describe is only a problem in a poorly managed company and the government should prioritize the good of the nation over covering for inadequate planning.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Also I'm not saying "work visa holders cause more harm" at all. In a tight labor market they help create jobs and give American companies an advantage.

      But I can't see how it benefits Americans to have an American worker unemployed while a company hires an h1b into a job he was also qualified for.

      Had the company hired the American it would have been just as well staffed and if somebody is going to have to be unemployed I'd rather it be unemployment in a foreign country rather than unemployment in America.

      This only happens in a recession though. In a normal economy there should be jobs created for everyone. That's why I think the extra process to check whether there are qualified Americans is only needed when unemployment is higher than usual.
      Feb 3
  • BYTON DOdj62
    If you got laid off then it means you are under qualified. It doesn’t make sense to stop processing requests for the qualified.
    Feb 321
    • BYTON DOdj62
      It’s hard tell that if there is a surplus or a shortage. There is always a shortage for the right people and a surplus for ... I think I can feel you in some way. But please look on the bright side as well. Let’s try to make the cake bigger for everyone and not focus too much on how to cut it. It very easy to fall into the communist trap. Lol
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      @yuio, H1b is a visa for aliens coming to the US temporarily, it's not "you home". You are an alien and you are here for a temporary stay.

      Literally here is section h1b of section 101(a)(15) of the immigration and nationality act.

      (H) an alien  
      (i)  
      (b) subject to section 212(j)(2) who is coming temporarily to the United States...
      Feb 3
    • Microsoft yuiopu
      Recession is good for no one except opportunists.
      If next recession like 2001 hits again, I think it will bring a dramatic shift in business, economies and overall power equation of the world. H1B would be last thing on everyone’s mind..
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      yeah good point, every country in the world has opportunities to create the next amazon, google or Facebook, its not owned by the US by any stretch. i hear China has a lot of great opportunities
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      DOdj62, while I agree that in the long term it's great when the economy is doing so well that there is a labor shortage and that's the goal that should not result in policies that leave Americans unemployed while an alien takes a job they actually qualified for.

      And while it may be somewhat difficult to judge it's really not impossible and it's exactly what labor market assessments are for.

      One simple way would be to allow hiring a foreign worker only if after 60 days of trying to hire a position no qualified American could be found.

      In a hot market that would not be difficult but in a recession that hits tech companies will in fact find lots of qualified Americans apply.

      I also think that i140's should be periodically reviewed or new visas delayed in the event of a recession. Just because there was a labor market assessment done in 2012 doesn't mean that in 2019 that need still exists.
      Feb 3
    • Microsoft yuiopu
      That’s what LCA approvals are for.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Right, so in a recession DOL should stop issuing LCA approvals.
      Feb 3
    • Microsoft yuiopu
      It does it already. I know in 2008, when there were layoffs, DOL stopped processing new LCAs literally for 2 years....
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      So doing some reading, LCA is issued based on attestations by the employer and not a true labor market analysis such as with PERM application.

      I think that should be adjusted and DOL should deny LCA if in the same geographical area other employers have been laying off workers in the same employment category.

      In other words, don't just take the hiring company's word for it.
      Feb 3
  • Amazon kaaching
    why.. it’s not your country like you own it. Should we throw all americans out of europe when there is a recession
    Feb 311
    • Amazon kaaching
      those corporations too ;)
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      You might want to read the Constitution. Hint: First three words.

      And yeah, I would expect that Europe would prioritize jobs for Europeans and stop extending work visas to Americans if there were qualified Europeans who were available.
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      that’s done when you get the visa.
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      read the first 7 words @flippy makes more sense that way
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      🍊
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      @kaaching is a salty crybaby..hope you h1B gets revoked lmao
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      ima have an anchor baby
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      you couldnt get a woman pregnant if she was blind and a paraplegic.
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      ima have many anchor babies. an army
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      only if you find a woman in a coma
      Feb 3
  • Oracle MLman
    USCIS makes money , quite a lot by charging people for job transfers and other visa applications , at the time of recession they would probably need money ..
    Feb 37
    • New flippy
      OP
      USCIS breaks even on fees, it doesn't make money.
      Feb 3
    • Apple / EngBangOver
      Source for this, flippy? Never heard of any break even financial situation with USCIS
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      They are mandated to set the fees to cover their costs as they aren't funded from taxes, and they actually set the fees to the level needed to pay for their operations. Which by the way is also why they continued operating through the shutdown because it didn't impact their funding.

      The only excess is the money that goes into that education fund, but that's a tiny amount of the total charges.
      Feb 3
    • Apple / EngBangOver
      So, where’s the source for this yet new information?
      Why don’t fees fluctuate with application numbers?? But again, what do I know, nobody has provided any real source
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Fees do fluctuate. They periodically review what it costs them to provide services and update their fees. The entire budget and process is on their website and it's not "new".

      https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/budget-planning-performance

      So I looked at the budget results for 2017:

      Budget Request: $4,018,270,000

      Fees: $3,889,131,000

      So fees charged to applicants did not cover USCIS cost of operations but elsewhere in the link I read that the shortfall represents the cost of running e-Verify which is funded by taxes (and was stopped during the shutdown).
      Feb 3
    • Facebook / Engleija
      👏👏👏 for the numbers
      Feb 3
    • Apple / EngBangOver
      Really good source, thanks! I learned something today
      Feb 3
  • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
    except companies use h1b visas to force salaries down, they post jobs with the intent of leaving it open to use a h1b at lower salary
    Feb 316
    • Amazon Username*
      Congress votes on laws and policies. I don't see either party putting up rules for a citizen vote. You vote for a candidate, and they move up in their careers by following the party.
      Lobbiest are a greater influence than any voter.
      Feb 3
    • Oracle olamaula
      voting will sadly not bring the change we need nor will a revolution. Change will start with inner conscience. Voting is just one step in right direction.
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      no the current parties do not, we need libertarians to step up
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      @olamaula, ok how is inner conscience going to do shit to change Washington when those assholes dont even have one? All any of them care about is getting elected next time around. the only hope we have is revolution to demand term limits
      Feb 3
    • Amazon Username*
      There should be more parties instead of picking one of two. Unfortunately, the two parties have convinced people that new parties or independents are equivalent to voting for their opposition.
      More parties allow for better discussion on issues. That it is not all one or the other.
      Feb 3
    • Oracle olamaula
      we have to change and each one of us before we change these assholes but we only have one life so this will take more than us. Unfortunately such is politics that nothing will change. Sorry.
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      maybe but ill still bytch on blind relentlessly about it even if i can't change it :)
      Feb 3
    • Oracle olamaula
      well if that makes you feel light sure :)
      Feb 3
    • BYTON DOdj62
      You must be crazy to think the tech salaries are low. Do you think yourself really smarter and deserve more than other science majors? Lmfao
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      The two party system works better than you think. The parties are fluid and adaptable and change what they stand for as they struggle to win over voters.

      Look at how radically the GOP changed in the last five years under Trump and look at what Sanders and AOC will likely do to the Dems.

      The difference between a two party system and a proportional system is more theoretical than real. I think the proportional multi party system is some sort of ideal on paper but in the real world the two party system actually gets to the same result a surprising amount of the time.

      As a counter example I don't think the multi party system in Israel is actually any less polarizing and in that case gave the most extreme right wing Jewish settler faction the king maker role and much more influence over Netanyahu than they would have had in a two party state. Likud would still have wona two party election but may have been a little less beholden to the extremists I'm that case.

      But I think you mostly get pretty much the same result no matter which voting system you use and with a PR system here I guess you'd most likely still have Trump, McConnell, and Pelosi.
      Feb 3
  • Anthem Ctj49m
    It’s the job of the company, not uscis’s.. in a capitalist world, it doesn’t matter who the company hires as long as they are the best and profitable for the company.. unless it’s a NGO :)
    Feb 33
    • New flippy
      OP
      In the real world flooding the labor market with more qualified applicants than there are jobs results in unemployment and reducing that IS the job of the government.
      Feb 3
    • Anthem Ctj49m
      How would reducing H1b’s by uscis is going to fix this? It would the company, who doesn’t hire anymore h1b’s (if under recession) due to lawyer fees and usics fees.. that would would cause layoffs in law firms and uscis 😉
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      It would also reduce unemployment claims from unemployed Americans so that's a wash.

      Also those American workers have American families. You want those American kids provided for so they can do to school and develop their skills, is a long term outlook as much as a short term.
      Feb 3
  • Google alumnius
    What a moronic post. What happens to the American citizens employed by foreign nationals? They lose their jobs too?

    Maybe you should read some basic economics before making a foolish post.

    But if it's a troll, well done.
    Feb 32
    • Amazon kaaching
      many us corporations are run by “furriners”... #MAGA
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      I certainly would expect foreign nations to protect their own work forces.

      For example, I would expect India to stop issuing work visas to foreigners if there were qualified Indians available to do the job.

      I'd expect the same from Europe.

      It's the logical thing to do.

      Specifically here in the US DOL should stop approving LCA's and LC's if people in the same labor category and geography are being laid off at other companies.
      Feb 3
  • Google He7a2k
    You can do it now by trolling Trump into shutting the government down tho 😂
    Feb 30
  • Qualcomm NotInQ
    Would the companies HQ'ed in USA will also stop shipping products abroad since they don't need foreign employees anyway. It's a global market nowadays.
    Feb 41
    • New flippy
      OP
      Doesn't follow that they would stop
      Feb 4
  • Oracle OFocal
    seems like OP recently became a citizen and now scared shit he got this far by brown nosing.
    Feb 30
  • Microsoft yuiopu
    OP, where are you from?
    Feb 30
  • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
    lol its not? it 1/300millionths my country bud :) how much is it your country?
    Feb 311
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      its not? who did you vote for last election?
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      did you vote for the 🍊
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      the point is i voted..none of your fucking business who it was. my question was are you permitted to vote in my country or not
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      it’s not yo country 🍆
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      yeah mother fucker it is, put my ass on the line for my country, as did my dad and my granddad in ww2.... guaren fuckin T its more my country than most
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      work that ass... you gonna end up on skid row
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      lmao, bytch i got more 000 behind my net worth than your entire family
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      yo daddy was a soldier .. you ain’t going to war if you got any money. war is for rednecks
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      damn straight, im redneck rich bytch...ill kill my own food cause i want to not cause i need to
      Feb 3
    • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
      already been to war bud...put your ass on the line then talk to me
      Feb 3
  • The Home Depot dytA68
    So where will all the USCIS workers go ?
    Feb 310
    • Amazon Username*
      😂 the USCIS workers could apply for work visa in another country
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      I think recessions only last a couple years so it would make sense to retain the USCIS workers on the expectation that things will return to normal.

      But they could be assigned to other jobs within DHS, maybe in border patrol or ICE, until then. That way they can make sure that these terminated h1b people do leave the country and don't find some fraud way to stay.
      Feb 3
    • The Home Depot dytA68
      Will you tax cover ... the above number you mentioned to retain this work force. I guess flippy .. you need to think this through.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Just raise the fees. That will also naturally reduce applications at time when they should be reduced.
      Feb 3
    • Amazon Username*
      😂Assigned to border patrol?

      🤔You want to transfer USCIS people processing paperwork to move to the southern border to patrol and arrest👮 crossers?
      Feb 4
    • New flippy
      OP
      Consult with you ESL teacher to understand the use of the word "or" in the phrase "border patrol or ICE".

      By the way CBP also work out of every international airport so they would not need to move. For example there were lots of CBP agents at SEATAC right there by Seattle.
      Feb 4
    • Amazon Username*
      Not everyone who doesn't agree with your ideas is a foreigner, since you referred to ESL teacher. I was pointing out that due to difference in function, jobs aren't always easily fungible.
      Feb 4
    • New flippy
      OP
      I assumed because of your difficulties with English..
      Feb 4
    • Amazon Username*
      Yes, you assumed.
      Feb 4
    • New flippy
      OP
      So if your reading comprehension problems are not because you are an immigrant what is the explanation for your limited English language ability?

      Explain how you did not understand the meaning of such a basic word like "or"?
      Feb 4
  • New monomo
    USCIS is one one level, a high level scam. If an immigrant wanted to change jobs, it's extremely unrealistic he would wait for 4 or 5 months. They expressly want to cash in on the situation and charge some good money for the so called premium processing. Why not be a good ass and process applications in a meaningful timeframe?
    The same can be applied to everything needful an immigrant goes through.
    Don't say they don't make money lol. You never know.
    Feb 34
    • New flippy
      OP
      So I looked at the budget. Numbers are for 2017:

      Budget Request: $4,018,270,000

      Fees: $3,889,131,000

      So fees charged to applicants did not cover USCIS cost of operations but elsewhere I read that the small shortfall represents the cost of running e-Verify which is funded by taxes (and was stopped during the shutdown).

      https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/budget-planning-performance
      Feb 3
    • Amazon kaaching
      poor USCIS, the 🍊 fucked them up ...
      Feb 3
    • New monomo
      Please don't link their own websites and press releases. The government here surely has tons of money. They charge a shit ton in taxes and they're always looking to squeeze more and more in every possible way. The problem is they don't know how to efficiently spend money and resources. Big problem.
      Feb 3
    • New flippy
      OP
      Monomo, I posted exactly how much money they collected and spent in 2017. I trust that their budget is accurate and it's kooky crazy to claim they are lying to Congress about how much they collected or spent.

      Certainly government is inefficient and could likely find ways to save money, in which case they would reduce their fees. But that's different than saying they make money.
      Feb 3
  • Indeed cyhy46
    This is literally already a requirement, at least for my visa status and (as far as I know) also for H1Bs.

    You might think that companies are lying and bullshitting and bending the truth and not actually satisfying this criterion. This might be true. But if it is true, how is making that double-required going to change anything? If it's already required, and they're already not doing it, making it required again isn't changing anything
    Feb 141
    • New h5n1
      It just checks that the company in the application itself isn't laying anyone off but not whether other companies have
      Feb 14
  • Amazon Username*
    Aren't work visas designed to cover a gap of jobs that can't be met by current workforce supply? I may be wrong here, I don't know the requirements.
    If so, then wouldn't the applications not pass in such a situation? That would mean no change needed
    Feb 31
    • New flippy
      OP
      There isn't a good check in place to verify employer claims that they aren't "displacing" an American, and it isn't clear that "displacing" includes leaving an American unemployed. It only seems to mean that particular employer isn't firing an American to make room for the h1b.

      So I think it doesn't go far enough.
      Feb 3
  • Amazon kaaching
    bye 🍊 c()nts @flippy @grizzlyed
    Feb 31
    • New flippy
      OP
      Hilarious. I'm anti Trump.
      Feb 3
  • Chase / Mgmtgrizzlyed
    aww. did @kaaching get his feeling hurt
    Feb 30

Join verified employees in our anonymous social network!Download the app!

close