As the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Council on International Personnel and others have pointed out, the Department of Labor has the ability to find out the information it is seeking on this new form during the course of a legitimate investigation or through consultations with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which keeps its information private. “The Department of Labor should have evaluated other ways to obtain the data without requiring companies to disclose confidential business and personal information. U.S. employers will be in a legal bind and many will be discouraged from hiring high-skilled foreign workers,” said Lynden Melmed, former USCIS chief counsel and now a partner at BAL Corporate Immigration law firm.
Between one-half and two-thirds of graduate students in key technology fields at U.S. universities are international students. It makes no sense to close the door on such individuals, many of whom will someday start new businesses and make innovations that will aid our economy. Those in Washington who follow such things know the Department of Labor is seeking, before a change in administration, a vast increase in power that would dissuade employers from hiring foreign nationals. In doing so, the Department of Labor is following a misguided, protectionist philosophy.
Stuart Anderson served as executive associate commissioner for policy and counselor to the Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service from August 2001 to January 2003 and is executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan research group based in Arlington, Va.