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Major DOS Cable

Secretary Powell issued a cable on 214(b), highlights follow:

  • 214(b) should not be confused with or used as a substitute for an independent ground of inadmissibility under INA 212(a).
  • H-1, L, and V visas are excluded from the presumption established in 214(b)
  • There are no immigrant intent provisions triggering 214(b) in the A, C, D, G, I, K, N, O-1, R, S, T, and U categories
  • 214(b) should not be used as or equated with the 212(a) ground of inadmissibility which relates to terrorism
This cable offers immigration attorneys with clients who have 214(b) problems support to forcefully argue, where applicable, that the consular officers' decisions were not grounded in the INA. We commend the Department of State for reminding consular officers that only Congress makes immigration policy, and that consular officers are entrusted to correctly apply the INA.

We stand by our position that 214(b) is bad policy for the US. One of the major attractions of the H-1b category is that it is exempted from 214(b). Our consular officers' primary duty in the post-9/11 world should be anti-terrorism, they are not, and should not be construed to be, guardians of the American labor market. The futility of 214(b) can be clearly seen in the temporary guest worker program that Congress is considering which will quite obviously be exempt from 214(b). We call upon Congress to abolish 214(b) and roll out the red carpet for immigrants that our country's economy badly needs.

We welcome readers to share their opinion and ideas with us by writing to