ITServe Alliance is the largest association of IT consulting firms in the U.S. Member companies provide services to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies by hiring workers in the U.S., and more importantly, keeping jobs in the U.S. Over the last six years, ITServe has worked to bring to light some of the issues consulting firms and their employees face in navigating the current business immigration system.
Our goal from the beginning has been to educate the public on what IT consulting is, and what it isn’t. Through our membership, we reach out to elected officials, the media, and government agencies to find ways to better address the immigration needs of our member companies and their employees.
We respectfully wish to address and clarify the clear misunderstandings stemming from a YouTube video posted late last week. It has become apparent that many people are upset and concerned regarding a presentation and Q&A event of ITServe that was the subject of a recent viral video. These people seem to believe that those in attendance were making statements against the plight of those skilled nonimmigrants who have worked so hard in order to try and obtain the legal right to live and work in the United States. We want to make it very clear that this is nothing more than an unfortunate misunderstanding and could not be further from the truth.
Many of the concerns discussed in the September 2015 event stem from the issuance of a 2015 USCIS Administrative Appeals Office precedent decision, Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC and the resulting Policy Memorandum from USCIS. Prior to the Simieo Solutions Decision, the IT industry was able to keep up with the dynamic nature of our work and readily assign consultants to meet our clients’ demands for quality IT consulting services. Before the Simieo Solutions Decision, moving the specialty occupation H-1B workers we employ to client locations did not necessitate filing an amended I-129 petition. Our industry relied on a letter from former INS Director Efren Hernandez written in 2003, in which he stated, “an amended Form I-129 petition would not be required simply on the basis of [a] geographic move. As long as the LCA has been filed and certified for the new employment location, the appropriate worksite posting has taken place, and other wage and hour obligations are met, no amended petition would be required…”
A five minute discussion of potential litigation to fight the Matter of Simeio Solutions decision was taken out of context and falsely suggests that a group of employers were plotting against skilled immigrants. On the contrary, the result of the September 2015 meeting was an ITServe recommendation to its members to reach out to government officials to explain how devastating this new requirement is to small businesses within the IT industry. A letter campaign was started in February 2016 to address the Simieo guidance, as well as the following other areas of concern to our members:
- The Importance of our Services to the American Economy
- Work Location Change for H-1B Workers Now Costs Over $2,000
- New $4,000 Filing Fee Unduly Burdensome on Small Business
- Limited Visa Supply Results in Lottery to Choose Best and Brightest and 18-Month Delay in Hiring
An additional point of discussion in the video related to the October Visa Bulletin Filing Dates and member concerns regarding the legality of the Department of States’ actions to potentially allow filing of an Adjustment of Status application when a visa number was clearly not immediately available. This discussion was unrelated to the potential litigation of the Simieo guidance. No litigation regarding the October Visa Bulletin or I-140 EAD has taken place and none is planned. The members simply raised their concerns that larger employers, who typically sponsor only a small percentage of their nonimmigrants for permanent residence, would benefit and the employees would never even receive a green card under the proposed changes. In fact, as a result of the meeting, the ITServe leadership asked attorney Emily Neumann (a founding member of ITServe and partner at Reddy & Neumann, P.C.) to assist the employees of their companies by posting a sample letter
(http://immigrationgirl.com/urge-your-representative-to-take-back-the-visa-bulletin-now/) in September 2015 pushing for the visa bulletin reversal and urging employees to submit comments to improve the I-140 EAD proposal in January 2016 (http://immigrationgirl.com/draft-comment-for-high-skilled-immigrant-relief-i-140-ead-rule/).
The accusations against ITServe and the intentions of its members are completely false and go against everything that ITServe has worked towards. There are countless videos posted of presentations given at ITServe events over the years. ITServe Alliance has been working to make the process of applying for and maintaining status in the U.S. less burdensome for both employers and employees.