A $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed by President Donald Trump on March 23, 2018, keeps the federal government in operation through September 30, 2018, and increases overall funding for various aspects of federal immigration enforcement, among other things. Notably, the bill does not include any provisions for addressing the “Dreamers,” beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that President Trump discontinued.
Highlights of the bill’s immigration provisions include:
- Appropriations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection ($14 billion, which represents an approximately 13 percent increase over the previous fiscal year);
- Appropriations for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement ($7.1 billion, which represents an approximately 10 percent increase over the previous fiscal year);
- Appropriations for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ($132 million, which represents an approximately 8 percent increase over the previous fiscal year);
- A requirement for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress on visa overstay rates by country for fiscal year 2017;
- A requirement for the DHS to publish metrics to measure the effectiveness of security between ports of entry, including methodology and data supporting the resulting measures;
- A prohibition on DHS’s establishing any new border fee for individuals crossing the southern or northern U.S. border at a land port of entry;
- Funding for border wall construction and improvements ($1.5 billion, with restrictions; the Trump administration had asked for $25 billion);
- “Flexibility” for employers bringing into the United States H-2B nonimmigrants in the seafood industry (an employer may bring in nonimmigrants described in the petition into the United States at any time during the 120-day period, beginning on the start date for which the employer is seeking the services of the nonimmigrants, without filing another petition)
- A provision defining the H-2B prevailing wage as the greater of (1) the actual wage level paid by the employer to other employees with similar experience and qualifications for the same position in the same location or (2) the prevailing wage level for the occupational classification of the position in the geographic area in which the
H-2B nonimmigrant will be employed, based on the best information available at the time of filing the petition;
- Inadmissibility for corrupt foreign officials;
- Lautenberg Amendment extension, through September 30, 2018;
- Visa restrictions for certain Cambodian government officials;
- Four programs—EB-5, Conrad 30, religious workers, and E-Verify—extended until September 30, 2018;
- H-2B returning workers provision.
- The full text of the bill (Pub. L. No. 115–141, Mar. 23, 2018, 132 Stat. 348).