132 Members of Congress Urge DHS to Continue Allowing H-4
Spouses of H-1B Nonimmigrants to Work One hundred and thirty-two
members of Congress sent a letter on May 16, 2018, to Kirstjen
Nielsen, Secretary of Homeland Security, urging maintenance of the
current regulation granting work authorization to certain H-4
dependent spouses of H-1B nonimmigrant workers. The letter states
that the opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work “has made
our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support
to thousands of spouses—mostly women—who have resided
in the United States for years.” The letter notes that many
are on the path to permanent residence and would already be
permanent residents if not for decades-long employment backlogs.
“Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of U.S.
employers and the U.S. economy, as well as H-4 accompanying spouses
and their families,” the letter states.
The letter notes that providing work authorization for
accompanying spouses helps U.S. employers recruit and retain highly
qualified employees, “putting U.S. policy on par with other
countries—such as Canada and Australia—competing to
attract foreign nationals.” The letter notes additional
reasons for allowing H-4 spouses to continue to work in the United
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director L. Francis
Cissna responded on May 24, 2018, on Secretary Nielsen's
He stated that the Department of Homeland Security is committed to
growing the U.S. economy and creating jobs for U.S. workers, and
that the public will be given the opportunity to provide feedback
during a notice-and-comment period “on any revisions to
regulations that DHS determines appropriate, including revisions
relating to the rule providing employment authorization to certain
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