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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


  1. November 2009 Visa Bulletin

    by , 10-12-2009 at 06:10 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    The November 2009 Visa Bulletin has been released. There have been some small changes from the October 2009 Visa Bulletin, but no major changes.

    EB1: All Current
    EB2: All Current, except China (01APR05) and India (22JAN05)
    EB3: All 01JUN02, except India (22APR01).

    The November Bulletin did contain this note:

    The receipt of demand from Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices has far exceeded their earlier indications of cases eligible for immediate processing. As a result, it has been necessary to hold most of the Employment cut-off dates for November. At this time, it is not possible to provide any estimates regarding future cut-off date movements.
  2. Three "Americans" win the Nobel Prize

    by , 10-09-2009 at 07:19 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    Earlier today President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The award was a surprise; few pundits had tapped Obama for the honor.

    Of lesser apparent newsworthiness, earlier in the week, three Americans shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Although none of the three are nurses or allied workers , two of the three Americans were immigrants to this country. Since this Blog focuses on the intersection of healthcare and visa policy, this is the story that I will highlight.

    One of the winners, Dr. Blackburn, came to the United States in the 1970s because it was "notably attractive" as a place to do science. America is still a magnet for foreign scientists, she said, "but one shouldn't take that for granted."

    There is a parallel to America's current policy with respect to healthcare professionals, which presently is broken. While few immigrants, or Americans for that matter, make the kinds of these contributions that these two have made, thousands of foreign trained healthcare workers have made the kinds of day-to-day contributions that enormously enhance America. By enacting sensible healthcare visa reform, the US can insure that America remains a magnet for the best and brightest.
  3. Follow the Blog

    by , 10-08-2009 at 05:19 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    There are several ways to follow this Blog.

    You can read it at .
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    You can subscribe to the Blog and have emails sent to you everytime the Blog is updated. To sign up for the email subscription service please go to, and put your email address into the box in the right-hand column.
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    Thanks for reading!
  4. CIR's Chances Improving

    by , 10-05-2009 at 05:49 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    Last week, the New York Times reported that new USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas is preparing for
    Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). The Director's preparations aren't wishcasting, but are directives from the President himself. The odds of CIR may increase if the President takes a personal interest in the issue.

    For members of the healthcare industry, this is a welcome bit of news. Sen. Schumer's staff is said to be working on a CIR bill. The Senator has long been a friend of reasonable healthcare visa numbers. If CIR can gain momentum, there is a good chance that the long retrogression may be over.
  5. What Sen. Grassley Should Not Do on the H-1B Visa

    by , 10-03-2009 at 08:37 AM (Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration)

    by Chris Musillo

    Last week Sen. Grassley continued his passionate cry against the H-1B program with a public letter to brand-new USCIS Director Mayorkas. Rather than furthering the discussion, his comments were loose with facts and didn't survive serious analysis. His authority for the "substantial fraud" (his words) is weak.

    Almost exactly one year ago, the USCIS produced the "H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Report." According to Sen. Grassley, the Report alleges that 20.7% of all visa cases reviewed were identified as having "outright fraud or other program violations associated with them." The Senator's use of the statistical ".7%" is unfortunate. This precision gives the Report the degree of credibility and meticulousness that it does not deserve. Even the Report itself rounded off to 21% in its conclusion. Similarly, the Senator's use of the phrase "outright fraud" is exaggerated. "Fraud" is fraud; there is no such thing as "outright fraud". His aim seems to be to incite.

    The Senator's letter seems to purposefully attempt to confuse issues. In the above citation, note that the Senator says "...or other violations associated with them." The Report purposefully mixed technical violations and fraud findings. This is akin to mixing drunken driving fatalities and parking tickets in a report on motor vehicle violations. The Senator should be above this kind of word-smithing.

    The Senator also casually dismisses one of the Reports key findings: that Staffing Companies and IT Companies are not the types of organizations that are committing the fraud. Specifically, the Report's fourth finding was that the fraud was the violations were more likely in fields such as "accounting, human resources, business analysts, sales and advertising." Since this finding doesn't fit Sen. Grassley's theme, he ignores it.

    The Report itself was so poorly researched as to be virtually worthless. The sample used in the Report was 51 cases, which is a statistically insignificant number in a world where at least one hundred thousand H-1Bs are filed in any given year.

    In the year since the publication of the Report, none of the fraud implied in the Report has been acted upon. No arrests have been made. And no convictions have occurred. All of the investigations, including the much heralded Vision Systems indictments, were independent of the Report. It is also worth noting that the government recently amended their indictment in that case, lowering the damages sought. This reduction in allegation received far less press than the initial story.
    As I have argued in the past, H-1B fraud likely is overblown. As I said in April,

    In prior years we have seen more than twice as many H-1B cases accepted as slots were available. These numbers provide compelling evidence against the argument that internationally-trained workers are being used to displace American workers and lower US workers salaries. That argument just doesn't jibe with what is actually happening.

    If H-1B visa labor was being used primarily to lower US workers salaries, the H-1B filing numbers wouldn't be impacted to any meaningful degree. Why? Because the incentive to reduce workers' salaries is likely greater in a recessed economy, not less. This logic is straightforward and convincing.

    The H-1B program surely has problems that legislation could cure. As an experienced Senator, Mr. Grassley surely knows that reasonable fixes to the H-1B program are attainable. Instead it appears as if the Senator is more interested in inciting a base level interest voter. The Senator's aims would be better served by seeking out those organizations that are engaging in fraud, instead of broadly condemning the entire H-1B program. A good start would be to recognize the weak analysis in the H-1B Benefit Fraud & Compliance Report". When the Senator relies on the Report and plays politics with his language, his argument falls flat.
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