As you all know, recently Trump Administration announced Spring 2019 Regulatory Agenda and H4 EAD rule removal continues to be part of their priorities. In response to that, and on-going H4 EAD Rule Lawsuit with Save Jobs USA, Senator Eshoo introduced a bill called “ Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization” in congress today to help H4 EAD spouses. Let’s look at current details and our take on the same.
Background of Current Bill to help H4 EAD Spouses retain their EAD :
Originally, in November 2018, Representatives Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren have introduced a bill in House to “Allow certain H4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization (EAD)”. The bill was popularly called as “H4 Employee Protection Act “. You can read complete details at : H4 Employee Protection Act – EAD Details. Essentially, after it was introduced, nothing moved and it basically dormant bill. In general, the congress term lasts for two years and if nothing happens to the bill during that term, at the end of it the bill would be essentially considered dead. The New US Congress term ( 116th Term) started on Jan 3, 2019. As new US congress term has started, they want to revive their old bill, hence they are re-introducing the original bill again.
What is the Bill “ Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization” ?
In fact, officially, there is no text out yet for the bill. It is just re-introduced. See below the actual bill screenshot on congress.gov. Based on the information provided in press release by the Rep. Eshoo, they are planning to revive the bill “H4 Employee Protection Act”. Check official bill on Congress.gov
Is this new bill re-introduced to save H4 EAD different from last year’s “H4 Employee Protection Act” ?
Well, we do not know the specifics of the bill yet as the full text is not out yet. Based on what Rep. Eshoo states in her press release, she emphasizes the hardships of the H4 visa holders and how they contributing to economy. The bill’s goal is to stop the H4 Rule removal process and help H4 holders to continue Applying for H4 EAD and use EAD provision for them. Key points from her press release:
- H4 Holders contribute to local economies and they deserve a chance. They also support their families with extra income and it is matter of economic fairness.
- Trump administration is doing nothing for future American citizens, who are waiting in line and no one benefits from the current system.
- Many of the accomplished individuals with great skills would leave to other countries, if there is no better solution to immigration.
How does this New re-introduced “H4 Employee Protection Act” impact current removal of H4 EAD Rule by Trump Administration ?
Well, as you all know there are few things happening with H4 EAD rule : one is the Lawsuit that is in court, second is the H4 EAD rule removal process, which is now with OMB for review. Now, this bill is re-introduced and supports H4 EAD holders that would allow eligible H4 holders to continue to apply for EADs. It is opposite to the current administration’s priority to remove H4 EAD…The big advantage now is that democrats have majority in the US house, and it would help them push. But, H4 EAD is not a major topic, in the grand scheme of things like DACA, Asylums, etc. Recently, Trump announced New Immigration Plan with Points Based Green Card System and other topics, with no details, which has more bigger topics that are on the table for discussion now. We are waiting for those details as well.
Overall, this bill has a very long way to go. It is just re-introduced in the house and we do not even have the summary text. For this bill to make it through, it has to pass house, then senate and signed by president to become law, which is a very long and hard road to go through. There are many immigration issues that are stuck in the house for a long time. I believe this bill will be added to the larger immigration issues that are in house. Only time will tell.
What do you think of this bill ? What is your take ?