Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

February 6, 2008

New Immigration Rule and New Immigration Pilot Introduced

Filed under: Border Security,Immigration — by Jonah Czerwinski on February 6, 2008

Today DHS issued new rules for certain immigration requests that also propose establishing a new pilot program for a land-border exit system. This – in addition to making Lou Dobbs apoplectic – will have significant effects on benefits delivery and may invoke certain security and governance challenges.  It’ll also make it a lot easier for those fruit farmers in Florida this season.  The rule is intended to provide employers with a streamlined hiring process for temporary and seasonal agricultural workers (the H-2A program).

The proposed rule:

• Reduces current limitations and certain delays faced by U.S. employers and relaxes the current limitations on their ability to petition for multiple, unnamed agricultural workers.

• Reduces from six to three months the time a temporary agricultural worker must wait outside the U.S. before he or she is eligible reenter the country under H-2A status.

• Establishes a land-border exit system pilot program. Under the program, H-2A visa holders admitted through a port of entry participating in the program would also depart through a port of entry participating in the program and present upon departure designated biographical information, possibly including biometric identifiers.

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