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Unpublished PERM Memo?

Unconfirmed reports are circulating among immigration practitioners that DOL has allegedly issued an unpublished Jan 27, 2005 memo to the SWAs prohibiting the SWAs to assist employers and their counsel with entering job orders preparatory to a PERM filing post-March 28th, and also prohibiting the SWAs to provide prevailing wage determinations prepratory to a PERM filing. At least some SWAs appear to be refusing to cooperate with attorneys preparing for a PERM filing, although other SWAs appear to be cooperating. The situtation is causing great frustration to the bar and the employer-community. DOL's alleged memo may make sense given the statutory March 8th deadline for the new prevailing wage provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 mandating a new, 4-tier, prevailing wage system to replace the current 2-tier system. Since some states apparently require wages to be part of the job orders, DOL may have a rationale to issue this memo. Unfortunately, however, there is no official word from DOL as to truth or falsehood of the reports of the existence of this memo. We urge DOL to confirm or deny the reports as soon as possible. Denial by DOL will help attorneys confront recalcitrant SWAs, and confirmation will signal attorneys to be patient as DOL rolls out its new PW system. Either way, the sudden freeze in communication by DOL post-PERM rule publication ill-serves the employer and attorney communities. We urge DOL to publish this alleged memo publicly on its website, if indeed such memo exists, or else quickly issue a public denial on its website if reports of the existence of this memo are inaccurate.

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