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30+ amendments approved today. I'm still working on my summary, but here's where I am so far.
Summary of 5-20 amendments
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Ever since the people of Minnesota elected Al Franken their U.S. senator, there's been a hole in my comedic heart. *The good Senator doesn't keep counsel with me, but I've discerned that he's made a personal vow to never again offer a hint of his former incarnation as one of the nation's most hilarious comedians and sketch comedy artists. *
In other words, he has adopted a serious mien, a gravitas befitting his membership in that elite conclave of the 100. *So far as I can tell, he hasn't said anything really funny since before*July 7, 2009 (when he took his senatorial oath before Vice President Joe Biden), and has rarely even mentioned the word "comedy" (except when offering a eulogy to his former writing partner, Tom Davis).
But since last Thursday, I have been consoled, although not comedically. *That's when I was reminded of his famous role on Saturday Night Live as the "caring nurturer" and "member of several 12-step programs," Stuart Smalley.
I thought then of Stuart's famous tag line, and tweaked it because of what Sen. Franklin did. He clearly showed that he's still more than "good enough . . . *[and] smart enough," *and that "doggone it [immigration reform advocates really] like [him]." *
While*nonetheless*sticking to his vow of steadfast unfunniness, he persuaded his colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee to adopt by voice vote an amendment (Franken 4) to the Gang of Eight's comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) bill, S. 744. *If CIR is enacted with Franken 4 included, it would establish within U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) an "Office of the Small Business and Employee Advocate" (the SBE Advocate), whose purpose would be to "assist small businesses [firms with 49 or fewer employees] and individuals in complying with the [Form I-9 (employment-eligibility-verification) requirements" of the immigration laws, "including the resolution of conflicts arising in the course of attempted compliance with such requirements."
The new role for the SBE Advocate complements the expanded authority of the USCIS Ombudsman under another amendment engrafted onto S. 744. *Like the Ombudsman, the SBE Advocate is empowered to provide assistance to the public, resolve I-9 compliance problems and make recommendations for changes to immigration laws and regulations. *
Unlike the bully-pulpit authority of the Ombudsman, however, the SBE Advocate would be authorized to issue an "Assistance Order" if any employer (not just a small business) or an individual has suffered or will likely suffer a "significant hardship" relating to I-9 compliance. *The SBE Advocate*can also consider "significant hardship" more favorably to the small business or individual if USCIS does not follow its own "applicable published administrative guidance" and*require the Secretary of Homeland Security under the terms of an Assistance Order:
to cease any action, take any action, or refrain from taking any action, with respect to the small business or individual under the I-9 provisions of the immigration laws;*to determine whether any employee is or is not authorized to work in the United States; or*to abate any penalty under such laws that the SBE Advocate*determines is inappropriate or excessive.
The anticipated creation of the Office of SBE Advocate follows on the longstanding difficulties encountered by small businesses in trying to comply with immigration law requirements and the more recent laudable attempts by USCIS to espouse (and, alas,*inconsistently demonstrate) support for small-business entrepreneurship under that agency's Entrepreneurs in Residence program, which has provided useful training to its adjudicators*and continues to grow.
So, all in all, I'm pleased with Sen. Franken*and his Minnesota niceness; but I still miss Stuart Smalley. *Although mollified by Franken 4, but still unable to fill that comedic hole in my heart, I searched the web to find out what morphed Stuart into Senator Franken. Lo and behold I think I've found it. *It was obviously his encounter with erstwhile presidential candidate and inventor of the internet, Al Gore, that turned Stuart into a politico:
Doggone you, Al Gore!
Updated 07-16-2013 at 03:21 PM by APaparelli
by Chris Musillo
The USCIS has confirmed
through AILA that all 2013 H-1B cap-subject cases have been receipted in
this past week. This is a little
quicker than we had expected. If you
have not received an H-1B receipt notice the chances are that your case did not
win the H-1B lottery.
USCIS received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions during
the filing period, including petitions filed for the advanced degree exemption.
On April 7, 2013, USCIS used a computer-generated random selection process
(commonly known as a "lottery") to select a sufficient number of petitions
needed to meet the caps of 65,000 for the general category and 20,000 under the
advanced degree exemption limit. For cap-subject petitions not randomly
selected, USCIS will reject is returning the petition along with the USCIS
F-1 students who did not win the lottery must exit the US at
the conclusion of their F-1/OPT period.
Many H-1B petitions are not subject to the H-1B cap, including:
* H-1B extension petitions
* H-1B transfer petitions
* Certain H-1B petitioners for
* Certain H-1B petitions for
Non-Profit Research organizations
Read the Musillo Unkenholt Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at www.musillo.com or www.ilw.com. You can also visit us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
There's a reason the GOP leadership is hoping immigration reform finally moves this year. They're brand with Hispanic voters is terrible and they need to show that they're a party that has a place for this fast growing segment of the electorate. So they must have cringed when they saw this story on CNN:
A prominent House conservative said Tuesday that the immigration
reform bill under consideration in the Senate is part of an ongoing plot
to build a massive new Democratic voting bloc.
Hispanic vote is "a huge boon for Democrats. They have known that for a
long time," said Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa. Their message has been that
"we are going to recruit all you folks. That we are going to give
amnesty to (you) to become Democrats."
Democratic leaders "are
in the process of seeking to establish another monolithic voting bloc,"
he said. Republicans backing the bipartisan Senate bill "completely
ignore that fact."
King made his remarks at a
Capitol Hill press conference with several other House conservatives
taking aim at the "Gang of Eight" legislation drafted by four Senate
Democrats and four Senate Republicans.
And this didn't help either.
The GOP has been doing better of late despite King's regular anti-immigrant outbursts. The House Gang of Eight, Boehner's quiet pushing on an immigration bill, Representative Goodlatte's move toward the center on immigration and the choosing of Darryl Issa to craft the skilled worker provisions all give me reason to hope.