As we have H4 EAD Rule Removal Process in progress by Trump Administration, on Nov 16th, House Representatives Anna G. Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren have introduced a new bill in House to “Allow certain H4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization (EAD)”. Below is a quick summary and status.
Update : This bill is re-introduced in House in 2019 – Read H4 Employee Protection Act 2019 – Re-introduced in House
What is the bill “ H4 Employment Protection Act” ? Allow H4 EAD filings ?
Let’s look at the background and what is the summary.
- Background : Both Reps. Eshoo and Lofgren, along with 13 others, have written to DHS in March 2018 requesting to re-consider removal of H4 visa EAD, stating it is important for economy and families. For which USCIS responded saying they are working as per Buy American Hire American Executive order and saying public can give their comments. You can read the copy of Letter sent to USCIS
- Short Summary : In short, this bill is intended to stop Trump Administration from revoking/ removal of the H4 EAD rule, that is about to be published anytime for public comments.
Key Points Raised in H4 Employment Protection Act Bill :
- They argue that H4 spouses, many of whom are highly skilled professionals, are stuck in line for green card and cannot pursue their professional goals and cannot contribute to US economy.
- DHS originally gave H4 EADs recognizing their potential contribution to economy and address economic hardship faced by H1B workers with single income waiting for Green cards, especially in high cost areas like California. The original H4 EAD had helped over 100,000 workers and lessened economic burden on thousands of H1B workers and families and this bill is intended to stop Trump administration from removal of such important rule.
- Protecting H4 workers EAD ( work authorization) is for both economic fairness and family unity. Removing such rule is of no benefit to our country, will split up families and will lose talent to other countries with more sensible immigration policies.
Where is the official Bill – “H4 Employment Protection Act “? What does it say ?
The official H4 Employee Protection Act is on US Congress website and called H.R.7150 with the below text “H.R.7150 – To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to continue to apply the rule entitled “Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization”, and for other purposes.” Below is a screenshot of the current status. As you can see, it is just introduced in the house and they do not even have summary text. None of the details exist at this point. You can check it at Congress.gov
How does this H4 Employee Protection Act impact current removal of H4 EAD ?
Well, it is really early to speculate anything. The bill has a very long way to go. It is just 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. Now that Democrats have majority in the house, it will be interesting to see how these new bills will progress and both democrats and republicans have to agree on few things and progress. Only time will tell.
As of now, nothing changes for H4 EAD holders, you can continue to file for H4 EAD as usual with USCIS.
What do you think of the new bill ? Will it progress to next steps ? What are the odds ?