[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 228 (Wednesday, November 26, 2014)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 70769-70770]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-28195]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 228 / Wednesday, November 26, 2014 / 
Presidential Documents

[[Page 70769]]

                Memorandum of November 21, 2014

Modernizing and Streamlining the U.S. Immigrant 
                Visa System for the 21st Century

                Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and 

                Throughout our Nation's history, immigrants have helped 
                the United States build the world's strongest economy. 
                Immigrants represent the majority of our Ph.D.s in 
                math, computer science, and engineering, and over one 
                quarter of all U.S.-based Nobel laureates over the past 
                50 years were foreign-born. Immigrants are also more 
                than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start 
                a business in the United States. They have started one 
                of every four American small businesses and high-tech 
                startups, and more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 
                companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

                But despite the overwhelming contributions of 
                immigrants to our Nation's prosperity, our immigration 
                system is broken and has not kept pace with changing 
                times. To address this issue, my Administration has 
                made commonsense immigration reform a priority, and has 
                consistently urged the Congress to act to fix the 
                broken system. Such action would not only continue our 
                proud tradition of welcoming immigrants to this 
                country, but also reduce Federal deficits, increase 
                productivity, and raise wages for all Americans. 
                Immigration reform is an economic, national security, 
                and moral imperative.

                Even as we continue to seek meaningful legislative 
                reforms, my Administration has pursued administrative 
                reforms to streamline and modernize the legal 
                immigration system. We have worked to simplify an 
                overly complex visa system, one that is confusing to 
                travelers and immigrants, burdensome to businesses, and 
                results in long wait times that negatively impact 
                millions of families and workers. But we can and must 
                do more to improve this system. Executive departments 
                and agencies must continue to focus on streamlining and 
                reforming the legal immigration system, while 
                safeguarding the interest of American workers.

                Therefore, by the authority vested in me as President 
                by the Constitution and the laws of the United States 
                of America, and in order to modernize and streamline 
                the U.S. immigration system, I hereby direct as 

                Section 1. Recommendations to Improve the Immigration 
                System. (a) Within 120 days of the date of this 
                memorandum, the Secretaries of State and Homeland 
                Security (Secretaries), in consultation with the 
                Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the 
                Director of the National Economic Council, the 
                Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and 
                Counterterrorism, the Director of the Domestic Policy 
                Council, the Director of the Office of Science and 
                Technology Policy, the Attorney General, and the 
                Secretaries of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, and 
                Education, shall develop:

(i) in consultation with private and nonfederal public actors, including 
business people, labor leaders, universities, and other stakeholders, 
recommendations to streamline and improve the legal immigration system--
including immigrant and non-immigrant visa processing--with a focus on 
reforms that reduce Government costs, improve services for applicants, 
reduce burdens on employers, and combat waste, fraud, and abuse in the 

(ii) in consultation with stakeholders with relevant expertise in 
immigration law, recommendations to ensure that administrative policies, 

[[Page 70770]]

and systems use all of the immigrant visa numbers that the Congress 
provides for and intends to be issued, consistent with demand; and

(iii) in consultation with technology experts inside and outside the 
Government, recommendations for modernizing the information technology 
infrastructure underlying the visa processing system, with a goal of 
reducing redundant systems, improving the experience of applicants, and 
enabling better public and congressional oversight of the system.

                    (b) In developing the recommendations as set forth 
                in subsection (a) of this section, the Secretaries 
                shall establish metrics for measuring progress in 
                implementing the recommendations and in achieving 
                service-level improvements, taking into account the 
                Federal Government's responsibility to protect the 
                integrity of U.S. borders and promote economic 
                opportunity for all workers.

                Sec. 2. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this 
                memorandum shall be construed to impair or otherwise 

(i) the authority granted by law to an executive department, agency, or the 
head thereof; or

(ii) the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget 
relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

                    (b) This memorandum shall be implemented consistent 
                with applicable law and subject to the availability of 
                    (c) This memorandum is not intended to, and does 
                not, create any right or benefit, substantive or 
                procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any 
                party against the United States, its departments, 
                agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or 
                agents, or any other person.
                    (d) The Secretary of State is hereby authorized and 
                directed to publish this memorandum in the Federal 
                    (Presidential Sig.)

                THE WHITE HOUSE,

                    Washington, November 21, 2014

[FR Doc. 2014-28195
Filed 11-25-14; 11:15 am]
Billing code 4710-10