The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) released guidance related to Hurricane Ida and its aftermath.
DHS said that absent exceptional circumstances, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, will not conduct immigration enforcement at locations where disaster and emergency relief related to Hurricane Ida is being provided, “such as along evacuation routes, sites used for sheltering or the distribution of emergency supplies, food or water, or registration sites for disaster-related assistance or the reunification of families and loved ones.” DHS also said that DHS officials “do not and will not pose as individuals providing emergency-related information as part of any enforcement activities.”
OFLC released frequently asked questions (FAQs) advising that whenever possible, the most effective means of communicating with the OFLC is through the established Foreign Labor Application Gateway (FLAG) or the PERM Case Management System. The FAQ provides alternative methods of contacting OFLC for each of its programs in the event that an employer or its authorized attorney or agent is unable to communicate via FLAG.
OFLC said that it will grant extensions to deadlines and make other reasonable accommodations for employers affected by Hurricane Ida, including delays caused by the storm and those that occurred as a result of businesses preparing to adjust their normal operations due to the storm.
The OFLC FAQ also includes guidance on short-term placements of H-1B workers at worksites outside of the areas of intended employment and other issues.