Cisco gets help in H-1B visa crisis from Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security automatically extends the period of stay and work authorization for all F-1 students with pending H-1B petitions
Cisco's H-1B visa crisis just got help from the Department of Homeland Security without the approval of Congress, as well as a total disregard for the concerns of America's voting citizens. To make the rule effective immediately DHS cited this clause: Administrative Procedure Act To avoid a loss of skilled students through the next round of H-1B filings in April 2008, DHS is implementing this initiative as an interim final rule without first providing notice and the opportunity for public comment under the good cause exception found under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) at 5 U.S.C. 553(b). The APA provides that an agency may dispense with notice and comment rulemaking procedures when an agency, for good cause, finds that those procedures are impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest. See 5 U.S.C. 553(b)(B). The exception excuses notice and comment, however, in emergency situations, or where the delay created by the notice and comment requirements would result in serious damage to important interests. For more reasons why Congressional approval or American citizen input was not considered: View Page 23 of the DHS Ruling

Michael Chertoff
"This rule will enable businesses to attract and retain highly skilled foreign workers, giving U.S. companies a competitive advantage in the world economy," said Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff. "By extending the training period by an additional 17 months to students who are employed by businesses enrolled in E-Verify, we are further ensuring a legal workforce in the U.S. and aiding good corporate citizens." View DHS Press Release

17-Month Extension of Optional Practical Training for F-l Students who have Obtained a STEM Degree This interim rule will allow F-1 students who have received a degree in a STEM field to obtain an extension of their existing post-completion OPT period for up to 17 months, for a maximum period of post-completion OPT of 29 months. The extension, however, is only available to students who are employed, or will be employed, by an employer enrolled (and determined by USCIS to be in good standing) in USCIS' E-Verify employment verification program at the time the student applies for the 17-month extension (Pages 14 and 15). Expansion of Cap-Gap Relief for All F-1 Students with Pending H-1B Petitions Currently, F-1 students who are the beneficiaries of approved H-1B petitions, but whose period of admission (including authorized periods of post-completion OPT and the subsequent 60-day departure preparation period) expires before the H-1B employment start date, have a gap in authorized stay and employment between the end of their F-1 status and the beginning of their H-1B employment. This situation is commonly referred to as the cap-gap. This interim rule expands the relief offered by the existing cap gap provision by first eliminating the limitation that cap gap relief be authorized only when the H-1B cap is likely to be reached prior to the end of the current fiscal year. This interim rule also removes the requirement that USCIS issue a notice in the Federal Register to announce the extension of status and instead allows an automatic extension of status and employment authorization for F-1 students with pending H-1B petitions. Unlike the extension of post-completion OPT, which is limited to F-1 students who have obtained STEM degrees, the extension of status for F-1 students in a cap-gap applies to all F-1 students with pending H-1B petitions during a fiscal year (Pages 20 and 21).

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