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Aijaz Rahi / AP File Photo

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services today announced new measures to rein in abuse of the H-1B program.

The agency will take "a more targeted approach" when making site visits to focus on employers who "are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers."

Starting Monday, USCIS will focus site visits on:

  • Cases where USCIS cannot validate the employer's basic business information through commercially available data
  • H-1B-dependent employers — or employers who have a high ratio of H-1B workers as compared to U.S. workers
  • Employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization's location

Why it matters: The Trump administration is making good on its promise to address fraud and abuse of the H-1B program by trying to weed out the employer applicants that rely heavily on temporary visas to fill their staffs. The newly-announced measures will hit hardest the India-based outsourcing companies that apply for large numbers of visas to help supplement IT departments at major U.S. corporations. These kinds of outsourcing firms caught Trump's ire on the campaign trail when companies such as Disney and Southern California Edison laid off workers and were said to replace them with foreign workers.

"The H-1B visa program should help U.S. companies recruit highly-skilled foreign nationals when there is a shortage of qualified workers in the country," said USCIS in a press release on Monday, when the lottery for H-1B visas was already underway. "Yet, too many American workers who are as qualified, willing, and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged."

One-two punch: Over the weekend, USCIS quietly announced changes to the eligibility of some lower-level computer professionals, giving the agency more discretion to require additional proof that "computer programmers" are high-skilled and high-paid enough to qualify for the sought-after visas.

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Trump sues National Archives, Jan. 6 committee to block records request

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to block the National Archives from releasing White House records to the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, citing executive privilege.

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in Trump's campaign to disrupt the committee's sweeping probe into the circumstances surrounding Jan. 6, including his actions and communications leading up to the Capitol attack.

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.