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Compliance News Flash – April 12, 2019

Arnall Golden Gregory LLP is pleased to provide you with the Compliance News Flash, which includes current news briefs relevant to background screening, immigration and data privacy, for the benefit and interest of our clients as well as employers and consumer reporting agencies generally.

  • USCIS reached the FY2020 H-1B visa cap. For FY2020, Congress mandated a regular cap of 65,000 H-1B visas, plus an additional 20,000 H-1B visas for those with advanced degrees from U.S. institutions of higher education (i.e., the master’s cap). Last Friday, USCIS announced that they reached the H-1B general visa cap, and then reached the master’s cap later on Wednesday. Read the announcements from USCIS here and here. What’s next? U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will process those petitions which were selected using a computer-generated random selection process and reject and return all unselected petitions along with their filing fees. According to USCIS, they received 201,011 H-1B petitions during the filing period which started April 1st and ended April 10th, which is about 15% less than last year.

  • Notwithstanding the H-1B cap, USCIS will continue to accept and process H-1B petitions that are otherwise exempt from the cap. Petitions filed for current H-1B workers who have been counted previously against the cap, and who still retain their cap number, are exempt from the FY2020 H-1B cap. USCIS will continue to accept and process petitions filed to (i) extend the amount of time a current H-1B worker may remain in the United States; (ii) change the terms of employment for current H-1B workers; (iii) allow current H-1B workers to change employers; and (iv) allow current H-1B workers to work concurrently in a second H-1B position.  

  • This week, President Trump made some major personnel changes at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, Secret Service Director Randolph Alles, DHS Deputy Secretary Claire Grady, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Ron Vitiello all resigned or otherwise departed. Republican leaders on the Hill did not respond favorably. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) said that they supported Nielsen’s tenure as secretary and strongly oppose the personnel shake-up. Read the more about Republicans’ responses here.

  • USCIS Director Francis Cissna is expected to be next to be pushed out of the Trump administration. Politico reports that Julie Kirchner, the former executive director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), is expected to be nominated to replace Cissna. FAIR is a restrictionist immigration group that lobbies for lower levels of immigration. Kirchner is currently the USCIS ombudsman, who handles problems with pending immigration cases. Read the full story from Politico here.

  • Amendments to the Massachusetts Data Breach Notification Law took effect yesterday. Some changes include that an organization that experiences a data breach is required to extend free credit monitoring services to affected consumers for at least 18 months if Social Security numbers have been, or believed to have been, compromised in the breach. If certain consumer reporting agencies experience a data breach, they are required to provide at least 42 months of free credit monitoring. Read the amendments here. Read the press release from Governor Baker here.


If you have any questions or need assistance on any point raised in this Compliance News Flash please contact:

Montserrat Miller  

Montserrat C. Miller
Partner, Atlanta Office



The information presented provides a general summary and/or recent legal and regulatory developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be relied upon as legal advice.
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