New ‘Save H4 EAD’ bill has no chance of becoming law

HR 3033, introduced in the House on May 28, requires continued acceptance of H-4 EAD applications.

A new bill that aims to stop the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from eliminating H4 EAD was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week. The “H4 Employment Protection Act,” or HR 3033, was introduced by Rep. Anna G. Eshoo, a California Democrat, on May 28.

The bill has long winding title, which spells out the purpose of the bill: “To direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to continue to apply the rule entitled ‘Allowing Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses to Apply for Employment Authorization,’ and for other purposes.”

The bill has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

The DHS submitted a proposal to terminate the H4 EAD to the Office of Management and Budget for review in February. An OMB decision might come any moment now, and, currently, thousands of H4 work permit holders are waiting to hear about the future of the Obama-era rule.

So, does the  bill offer any new hope for EAD holders?

Unfortunately, legal experts do not think so. Most believe that the bill has been introduced just to appease the hopefuls.

Eshoo, who represents California’s 18th district, which includes the Silicon Valley, where thousands of H4 EAD holders live, had introduced a similar bill in the last Congress.

That bill, “H-4 Employment Protection Act of 2018,” proposed to prohibit the DHS from amending or repealing the H4 EAD. That bill, HR 7150, did not come out of the Judiciary committee.

At this point, it is not clear whether the current bill gain any traction.

Legal experts point out that not only has the text of the bill not been updated since it was last introduced in November 2018, it has just two co-sponsors at the moment. A bill before it becomes a law has to pass many stages. It has to first clear the House committee, then the full House, followed by the Senate and finally it has to be signed by the president.

“The Congress people are aware that the current administration wants to take away H4 EAD,” said immigration lawyer Rahul Reddy. “The House wants to pass a bill that certain H4 [visa holders] should be given employment authorization. But the bill has to pass in the House of Representatives, it has to be passed in the Senate, mostly with a majority of 60-40 there, and then the president has to sign it. It looks very unlikely this H4 EAD bill is going to go through.”

The lawyer said that a bill such as this has a very slim chance of passing and what Congress really needs to do, if it intends to safeguard the interest of H4 EAD holders, is to bring in real immigration reforms. Reddy, speaking at his weekly immigration social media chat show, said: “If the per country cap is removed, we wouldn’t need to provide H4 EADs as waiting times for those who are stuck will come down and they will get their green cards.”

Currently, the administration seems intent on eliminating the H4 EAD. But the good news for the H4 EAD holders is that there will be a comment period between update and if the actual revocation.


Is H4 EAD termination decision coming this week? (May 27, 2019)

There is hope for H4 EAD holders in court ruling on DACA (May 22, 2019)

H4 work authorization may be next on Trump’s hit list, says Sheela Murthy (March 9, 2017)

H-4 and H-1: Time for Indian immigrants to speak up on immigration policy, says author Amy Bhatt (January 5, 2019)

New bill proposes to let H-1B workers switch jobs, H4 visa holders to work, F-1 holders to apply for green card (September 14, 2018)

End of the road for H-4 EAD program? (April 24, 2018)

Trump administration may soon end H-4 Visa Rule: report (February 1, 2018)

Tech industry urges USCIS not to cancel H-4 spouses’ work permits (January 19, 2018)

Trump to end H-4 EAD program for spouses of H-1B workers (December 15, 2017)

Trump administration asks for more time on H4 work authorization (April 4, 2017)

Regulations on H-4 EAD program on cards; may even be terminated, says Murthy Law Firm (November 24, 2017)

H4 visa-holders’ work authorization is under review: report (February 7, 2017)

H-1B visa exhibition at the Smithsonian: of goddess who gives visa, to women on H4 status in shackles (November 24, 2015)

H4 visa holders start to get EAD work permits from USCIS (June 29, 2015)

Save Jobs USA petition to not issue work permits to H4 visa holders dismissed (May 27, 2015)

DHS starts to accept employment authorization applications from H4 visa holders(May 26, 2015)

COLUMN: Save Jobs USA’s civil complaint against DHS to stop H4 visa holders from getting EAD cards is discriminatory (May 22, 2015)

No work permits for H4 visa holders: lawsuit filed by Save Jobs USA (April 27, 2015)

H4 visa holders can start a business after getting EAD: Sheela Murthy (March 9, 2015)

458,177 H4 visas issued in 6 years between 2008-2013 (February 26, 2015)

COLUMN: EAD cards for H4 visa holders: USCIS needs to give it to all of them(February 24, 2015)

EAD cards for H4 visa holders: green cards better solution, says IEEE-USA (February 24, 2015)

H4 visa holders can apply for EAD cards beginning May 26, 2015 (February 24, 2015)

EAD cards to H4 visa holders: Immigration Voice lauds Barack Obama February 24, 2015

H4 visa: a primer (December 9, 2014)

Final rule on work permits for H4 visa holders by December 2014-January 2015(November 23, 2014)

COLUMN: Obama’s speech has not made anything clear for immigrants waiting for Green Cards, H4 visa holders hoping for work permit (November 21, 2014)

COLUMN: Agony for H4 visa holders, as Obama’s executive action delays work permits (November 21, 2014)

COLUMN: As Republicans take control of the Senate, dream of H4 visa holders to get work permits, expedited Green Cards, is over (November 5, 2014)

Work permits for H4 visa holders will end mental anguish for almost 100,000 spouses in the US (June 10, 2014)

Indian women on H4 visas eager to get back to work (May 8, 2014)

Many H4 visa holders will get work permits this year (May 7, 2014)

DHS proposes to allow limited number of H4 visa holders work permits (April 8, 2014)

For H4 visa holders from India, the X visa all-important (May 26, 2013)

BLOG: The H4 visa conundrum (April 21, 2013)

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