Insight

Trump Administration’s Termination of DACA, TPS, and H-4 EAD Immigration Programs Could Leave Employers in a Lurch

Several immigration programs that have authorized over a million immigrant workers are expected to end in 2018 and 2019.

DACA, TPS, and H-4 EAD
Ann Massey Badmus

Ann Massey Badmus

February 1, 2018 09:16 AM

Several immigration programs that have authorized over a million immigrant workers are expected to end in 2018 and 2019. The cancellation of these programs will terminate employment eligibility for these workers, making most of them deportable. The loss of these legally authorized workers is likely to destabilize many employers’ workforce and disrupt the economy as a whole.

DACA

The most publicized termination is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, an Obama administration executive action that protected undocumented immigrants from deportation if they came to the U.S. under the age of 16 and before June 15, 2007. Eligible applicants could not have been older than 30 when the Department of Homeland Security enacted the policy in 2012. Those approved were able to get renewable two-year permits to work and study in the U.S.

Nearly 91 percent of the 800,000 DACA recipients (commonly called Dreamers) are employed. Some studies report that eliminating DACA would cost $433.4 billion in GDP and reduce Social Security and Medicare tax contributions by $24.6 billion over a decade. More immediately, if no solution is found for the DACA workers and the businesses that employ them, the end of DACA will disrupt many businesses and industries to some extent, particularly the health care industry where roughly 20 percent of DACA immigrants are employed.

TPS

The Trump administration has also announced the end of temporary protected status (TPS) for nearly 300,000 legal workers, subjecting them to deportation as well. TPS authorizes nationals of countries that have suffered war, an epidemic, natural disasters, or other disasters to live and work in the U.S. legally until conditions improve sufficiently in their countries. TPS is granted only to those who are already in the U.S. at the time of disaster. These protections for over 200,000 nationals of El Salvador and 60,000 nationals of Haiti are set to end in 2019.

According to the Center for American Progress (CAP), TPS workers are employed in varieties of sectors, including construction and hospitality industries.

CAP estimates that the removal of these workers would create a loss of $164 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) over the next decade and result in a $6.9 billion reduction to Social Security and Medicare contributions over a decade, as calculated by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center.

Importantly, employers would experience $967 million in turnover costs dues to loss of TPS workers.

H-4 EAD

Not surprisingly, the administration has announced plans to terminate the H-4 EAD program, which permits certain spouses of H-1B workers to apply for employment authorization documents (EADs). The termination procedure is expected to be announced in February 2018. Initiated in 2015 by the Obama administration, some spouses of H-1B workers are eligible to apply for employment authorization if they hold H-4 status and their H-1B spouse (1) has an approved Form I-140 immigrant worker petition or (2) has received a one-year extension of H-1B status beyond their sixth year based on a filed I-140 or labor certification.

An estimated 100,000 H-4 EAD workers will be affected by the cancellation of the program. As long as the H-1B spouse is employed, these workers will be allowed to legally remain in the U.S. However, they cannot work unless eligible for another work visa.

Employers with H-4 EAD employees, many of whom are highly-skilled, will undoubtedly experience turnover costs and related losses.

Employers who have valued DACA, TPS, or H-4 EAD employees should talk to a lawyer about possible options. A qualified immigration lawyer can evaluate whether the employee has other legal opportunities to get temporary or permanent status, such as an H-1B visa or green card, through their employment with the company. For example, if an employer has difficulty finding workers with an employee’s skill set, it could apply for labor certification through the Department of Labor and DHS if the employee’s immigration history warrants it.

Employers should advocate for commonsense immigration laws that fix the current immigration system and reflect the global economy and workforce. Congress can and should offer a permanent solution that meets the needs of our society, our economy, our businesses, and our workers.

-----------------------------

Ann Massey Badmus leads the immigration section of Scheef & Stone, LLP. Since 1993, Ann has helped U.S. businesses cut through immigration red tape and execute leading-edge hiring strategies to win the global competition for top talent. She is a frequent commentator on immigration law for national and local television and radio news programs. She has published numerous articles and has authored a book for foreign national physicians, titled Immigration Prescription: The Practical Guide to Immigration for Foreign Born Physicians. Ann can be reached at ann.badmus@solidcounsel.com.

Related Articles

Chain Migration Solutions Desperately in Search of a Problem


by Aaron C. Hall

The White House insists that any new law giving Dreamers a permanent place in the United States also stop what it refers to as the chain migration problem.

Chain Migration

Trump and Immigration: Separating Truth from Fiction


by Harlan G. York

Deportations aren’t up, but the people who are being deported are more “newsworthy.”

Trump and Immigration

In the News: South Florida


by Compiled by Nicole Ortiz

A summary of newsworthy content from South Florida lawyers and law firms.

South Florida In the News 2018

The Price of Admission


by Janice Zhou

States and the federal government are engaged in a pitched battle over immigration and refugee settlement—with the legal profession caught in the middle, taking fire from both sides.

Immigration Reform in Connecticut

WATCH: Supreme Court Rules DACA Stays


by Best Lawyers

Three immigration law attorneys join the CEO of Best Lawyers to discuss the Supreme Court's decision to block the Trump administration's effort to stop the DACA program.

Panel: DACA SCOTUS Ruling

Loophole or Fatal Flaw?


by Joseph Begonis

Canada's Best Lawyers share their thoughts on the Safe Third Country Agreement

What Is the Safe Third Country Agreement?

Interagency Cooperation: Raising the Bar for Immigration Compliance


by Kathleen Campbell Walker

Stove-piped legal representation is not advisable (e.g., only focusing on one agency segment or one portion of a filing process).

Immigration Compliance

Immigration Worksite Compliance Issues for Employers


by Maria I. Casablanca

Immigration worksite enforcement has become a balancing act between verifying eligibility to work and avoiding discrimination; thus it has merged two fields of law: labor and employment law with immigration and nationality law.

Immigration Worksite Compliance

H-1B Planning for Fiscal Year 2019


by Lisa Koenig

Employers should be prepared to pivot.

H1-B Planning

Dilip Patel, 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" for Immigration Law


by Nicole Ortiz

Dilip Patel of Dilip Patel Law Firm was named 2018 "Lawyer of the Year" in Tampa for Immigration Law.

Dilip Patel LOTY

In the News: Southern California


by Compiled by Nicole Ortiz

A summary of newsworthy content from Southern California lawyers and law firms.

Southern California In the News

Employers Must Soon Use Yet Another New I-9 Form


by Fisher Phillips

New document could be liability trap for unsuspecting employers.

Begin Using the New Form Now

Trending Articles

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Announcing Spain's recognized lawyers for 2023.

Flag of Spain

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in America Honorees


by Best Lawyers

Only the top 5.3% of all practicing lawyers in the U.S. were selected by their peers for inclusion in the 29th edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Gold strings and dots connecting to form US map

The Best Lawyers in Chile™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms in Chile.

White star in blue box beside white box with red box on bottom

The Best Lawyers in South Africa™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Best Lawyers proudly announces lawyers recognized in South Africa for 2023.

South African flag

The 2023 Best Lawyers in Portugal™


by Best Lawyers

Announcing the elite group of lawyers recognized in Portugal for 2023.

Green and red Portuguese flag

Announcing The Best Lawyers in Peru™ 2023


by Best Lawyers

Honoring our awarded lawyers for 2023 in Peru.

Red and white stripes with green leaf symbol

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers and firms.

The Best Lawyers in Spain™ 2022

Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2023


by Best Lawyers

The third edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America™ highlights the legal talent of lawyers who have been in practice less than 10 years.

Three arrows made of lines and dots on blue background

Thirteen Years of Excellence


by Best Lawyers

For the 13th consecutive year, “Best Law Firms” has awarded the most elite and talented law firms across the country through a thorough and trusted data review process.

Red, white and blue pipes and writing on black background

Famous Songs Unprotected by Copyright Could Mean Royalties for Some


by Michael B. Fein

A guide to navigating copyright claims on famous songs.

Can I Sing "Happy Birthday" in Public?

IN PARTNERSHIP

Rewriting 𝙃𝙀𝙍𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙧𝙮 One Verdict at a Time


by Justin Smulison

Athea Trial Lawyers was formed only a year ago by several prestigious lawyers seeking justice for their clients, and together they are making history.

Six female lawyers sitting in office

Announcing the 2022 Best Lawyers® in the United States


by Best Lawyers

The results include an elite field of top lawyers listed in the 28th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and in the 2nd Edition of Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America for 2022.

2022 Best Lawyers Listings for United States

Announcing the 2023 The Best Lawyers in Canada Honorees


by Best Lawyers

The Best Lawyers in Canada™ is entering its 17th edition for 2023. We highlight the elite lawyers awarded this year.

Red map of Canada with white lines and dots

What the Courts Say About Recording in the Classroom


by Christina Henagen Peer and Peter Zawadski

Students and parents are increasingly asking to use audio devices to record what's being said in the classroom. But is it legal? A recent ruling offer gives the answer to a question confusing parents and administrators alike.

Is It Legal for Students to Record Teachers?

Strength in Numbers: When Partnering Up May Be Best in Whistleblower Litigation


by Justin Smulison

Whistleblower claims make headlines when they result in multimillion-dollar settlements. But the journey to the courtroom is characterized by complexity and requires time and resources. Bienert Katzman Littrell Williams partner and The Best Lawyers in America awardee Michael R. Williams discusses when and why partnerships between counsel will strengthen whistleblower litigation.

A Blue Person in the Middle of White People

Announcing the 2022 "Best Law Firms" Rankings


by Best Lawyers

The 2022 “Best Law Firms” publication includes all “Law Firm of the Year” recipients, national and metro Tier 1 ranked firms and editorial from thought leaders in the legal industry.

The 2022 Best Law Firms Awards