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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

HR 3012 Could Move Quickly in Senate

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

I've been pretty cautious in my predictions regarding movement of the priority date bill in the Senate despite its relatively easy passage in the House last night by a 20 to 1 margin. That's because the Senate tends to move slowly, filibuster rules raise the threshhold for how many votes are needed and a single Senator can place roadblocks in front of legislation without having to have a particularly good reason. Nevertheless, the NY Times reports this morning:

The bill seemed likely to pass easily in the Senate, said Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a leading Democrat on immigration.

In light of the comments from my last post on 3012 by those upset about not dealing with DREAM and other bills dealing with illegal immigration, a couple of quotes from the Times story are interesting.

Mr. Chaffetz said he had tried to find a sweet spot, even if small, where lawmakers from both parties could come together to fix the legal immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken. The bill does not address illegal immigration, nor does it add any new visas to the system, which many Republicans, including Mr. Smith, are reluctant to do.

"I campaigned in Utah on the idea that we can never solve our illegal immigration woes without fixing legal immigration," Mr. Chaffetz said Tuesday.

I'm not sure I agree that we can't work on both issues simultaneously, but this is better than rhetoric we typically hear on the right that simply say "enforce, enforce, enforce."

It's also interesting that some of the biggest sopporters of measures helping illegally present immigrants sided with 3012.

Joining as sponsors were several Democrats who are outspoken liberals on immigration, including Representatives Luis V. Gutierrez of Illinois and Zoe Lofgren of California.


Mr. Gutierrez said: "We need bigger fixes to our legal immigration system so that employers and families use official channels, not black-market ones. We want people to go through the system, not around it."

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  1. USC's Avatar
    It is unfortunate that our public officials continue to employ smoke and mirrors to conceal as to what is changing and how. In order, to have a fair and open debate without facts being distorted by one Special Interest group or the other a before and after version of EVERY amended bill should be posted by Congress, instead of the gobbly-dock they indulge in now.

    Linked below is HR3012:

    It is impossible to decipher as to what is going on without reference to the original Act, even with it available, it is still a time consuming task. See link to the INA below:

  2. George Chell's Avatar
    Impact of Relatively Liberal US Skilled Immigration Laws?

    ADP reports that 206,000 jobs were created last month in the private sector. Some are wondering where the jobs were coming from. Foreign Direct Investment. FDI is running out of Europe, and especially skilled immigrant unfriendly UK and moving into the United States, Canada, Australia and elsewhere in Asia including Hong Kong, Singapore and China. But, it seems likely that the US is the biggest beneficiary of the mess in Europe and UK's skilled immigrant unfriendly laws. Sooner stupid people like Charles Grassley recognizes this, the better it will be for all of us!
  3. Sam's Avatar
    Congressman Bilbray voted yes. Many members of House Immigration Caucus voted yes.
  4. A's Avatar
    As I thought , Mr Grassley of Durbin/Grassely duo is placing a hold on the bill
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    And as I thought Mr. Grassley has no brains.
  6. Mike's Avatar
    In the Senate it is not as easy as in House. Think of one thing. If this bill is passed Indian Eb3 has to wait 5 to 8 years compared to 9 to 10 years. Same waiting time for Europians? Isrelies? Come on?? will they allow that much easily? Everywhere in the World some type of discrimination exists. Still USA is best compared to majority of the countries though it is not ideal. Always house acts fast and the reps are elected every two years and house reps are dynamic. Senate acts slow and balanced approach. I am from India but neutral for this bill as it will give a limited benefit to EB3I and more benefits for EB2I. Country Quota is a discriminatory. No second thought about it. Why it was formed when there were no need at that time when all were current? Those who formed the country quota were very smart and the reasons were so obvious. But still there is lot of chance for passing of the bill.

    Everybody got excited because Hira supported this bill. Numbers USA is neutral on this bill. Not big opposition is from Programmers Guild. But the impact of the bill is people from staunch allies of USA like UK,France also will be impacted. If they take that as the reason then it is very difficult to come for Voting in Senate. If it comes for Voting it will be passed
  7. Sid's Avatar
    "If this bill is passed Indian Eb3 has to wait 5 to 8 years compared to 9 to 10 years."

    "I am from India but neutral for this bill as it will give a limited benefit to EB3I and more benefits for EB2I. "

    @Mike, I don't think you've done the math. The backlog for EB3-I is already more than 9 years but it's getting progressively worse. EB3-I/C get roughly 3K visas per year. If the number of pending I-485 applications per year for EB3-I is 9K, it'll take 3 years for the PDs to move 1 year. In that scenario, the backlog increases by 2 years every 3 years. If it's 12K per year, then it increases by a year every year. These are not unrealistic numbers. The last I-485 inventory report shows that the number of pending I-485 tally for EB3-I is roughly 5K, 11K, 13K, 8K and 10K from 2002-2006. A person with a PD in 2007 is looking at a wait of at least another 10 years (15+ years total) under the current scenario. If the bill is passed, they would have to wait another 5-6 years (10-11 years total) since bill would take effect only after 3 years. I would consider 4-5 years of reduction in wait time to be a significant benefit. A lot of people are underestimating the effect of this bill on the backlogs for EB3-I/C because they think that the backlog is constant. Not true. USCIS doesn't know how many applicants are waiting to apply once the dates go beyond July 2007 again.

    You're right that EB2-I will benefit more but EB2-I PD cutoff is already 6 years ahead of EB3-I so it's not like it's a close race anyway. Due to spillover, EB2-I PD has been advancing by 2 years per year compared to 4-5 months for EB3-I.
  8. Sid's Avatar
    "Why it was formed when there were no need at that time when all were current? Those who formed the country quota were very smart and the reasons were so obvious."

    Actually, those who wrote it were not smart but lazy. That's a pretty accurate description of most people who go to the Congress. There are people who are genuinely knowledgeable about some areas but the majority of Congressmen do not understand or read the bills that they vote on. They hire staffers and advisers for that.

    They copied the language from the family based immigration laws without thinking about how chain migration among families is different from hiring based on skill. I can easily sponsor members of my family for a family based GC (once I become a citizen) with no restrictions but I cannot simply hire them to work for me.
  9. Nurse Waiting's Avatar
    Who would have thought in 60's that India/China will send so many skilled immigrants? I think quota system was primarily to remove favoritism from countries in northern Europe and provide opportunity for rest of the Europe to come here, especially Kennedy's heritage. Nobody expected Asian giants to catch up like they did. Brown immigration is unintended consequence of that immigration policy.

  10. Mike's Avatar

    Your calculation is based on the very pessimestic estimate given by the news media.The number of green card applicants reduced siginificantly after 2008. That will have postive impact on PDs. Also currently when people are not available from other countries then India and China will get those numbers at the end of the quarter. Also the phase out will make that benefit will be very small for 3 years. So EB3 will improve max 2 to 3 years than expected wait time. Still that is better than current.
  11. Mike's Avatar
    Nurse waiting

    The employment based immigration quota was made 140k on 1990. I think it is a well thought move to give preference to the people from their allies like UK, other Europe and Isrel. Of course they might have borrowed the concept from family based. Grassley is very influential Senator and he has so much respect and Clout in USA. Of course he might be hated by so many Indian immigrants because of his stand in H1b. It is difficult to ignore him unless convince him. Let us wait and see what happens
  12. limbo's Avatar
    Mr. Siskind,

    Don't you have any EB clients from ROW, Philippines or Mexico? It seems you are advocating for this bill even though it will be a disaster for us.

    Why not advocate for changes that would make the bill fair to all EB immigrants, instead of one that provides relief to EB immigrants from 2 countries at the expense of immigrants from all other countries.

    Really, I just don't get it... Maybe you could explain your position to us ROWers, many of whom have employed your services over the years.
  13. Mike's Avatar

    This was mainly lobbied by immigration voice and Syskind cannot do much about it. Many lawyers are mixed opinions about this bill many of them were neutral. If you think it is unfair you can organise persons and meet Senators to tell about your concerns. Otherwise you have to rely on Senators like Grassley. Currently Grassley had put a Hold on this bill. And more delay more chance the bill will die in this year as time is short and many bills are pending
  14. Greg SIskind's Avatar
    Limbo - Most of my fellow immigration lawyers got in to immigration law to help our clients achieve justice and be treated fairly. The cynics might think we're driven solely by money, but its bothered me for years that we have such a discriminatory system and I'm happy to see it go. The answer is not to continue making nationals from a couple of countries suffer considerably but to increase overall green card numbers and that is the battle we need to focus on next.
  15. George Chell's Avatar
    I really do not know what the argument is. One would hope the hiring is based on merit before application is made. If this bill allows a 2.8/4.0 GPA Indian to jump over a 4.0/4.0 South Korean, I will oppose it. Engineering corporations and medical establishments should not be hiring a 2.8/4.0 GPA student no matter what, whether he is an American or Indian or for that matter any other nationality. So, please educate me. Does this create a situation, where someone who is less qualified or less able gets the job over someone else relatively well qualified. As far as I can see, the country quotas are still in place for the same reason diversity lottery is still in place. Try to keep America majority white as long as possible and delay the inevitable! From the actions of some people, particularly in Kentucky, that is the sad conclusion that I can come to, although I still believe that Grassley's stance is driving jobs out of this country and into Canada and other Asian countries....

    May be this church is concerned that if the Zimbabwean marries the US citizen, that will mean one more non-white entering the country...and the country may be well on its way to becoming a majority minority country. Actions of anti-immigration groups not criticizing foreign actors competing for far fewer jobs with Americans and criticizing a piddly 35,000 quota for Indian computer people each year, sadly makes me reach that conclusion!
  16. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "They copied the language from the family based immigration laws without thinking about how chain migration among families is different from hiring based on skill. I can easily sponsor members of my family for a family based GC (once I become a citizen) with no restrictions but I cannot simply hire them to work for me."

    I have to disagree on two points. First, that limiting chain migration in the family category based on the country makes sense. The argument is the same - why a brother of a US citizen from one country has to wait longer than a borther of a US citizen from a different country? Makes no sense. Second, is that there is no chain migration in the EB category. Obviously, that chain migration is not usually family-based (and sometimes it is), but many H1 holders get their jobs because they have been recommended by another H1 holder. The same is even true with those who came to the US to study - once you know somone who studied in the US, you are more likely to get info on how you can do it, too. It is also quite common for large companies that recruit globally to engage their network of employees and prospective candidates to solicit more resumes right before they go on recruiting trips to a particular country. Chain migration is how every category works (including refugees), and that's how immgration worked 100 years ago, and that's how it is going to work in the future. Nothing surprising or wrong with it.
  17. limbo's Avatar
    While removing per country caps (which have largely been rendered moot due to spillover rule changes) may be an honorable goal, from a practical standpoint, I think HR3012 is a disaster. How can you retroactively make this change in the middle of a fiscal year? I think it is almost certain that a huge number of visas would be wasted this year as USCIS struggles to implement this change.

    Also the grandfathering is woefully inadequate. Many of us have planned our lives based on the current trajectory of the system. My wife has spent tens of thousands of dollars improving herself by getting a masters degree, but will be unable to make use of it now for many years. I can't tell you how devastated she is.

    Why can't the removal of the per country caps be done in a more equitable and fair manner?
  18. Greg SIskind's Avatar
    Limbo - Actually, the bill calls for a phase in over three years precisely to address your concerns.
  19. Mike's Avatar
    Actually removing country quota means not giving importance to merrit. The Labor certification and I140 approval says that the person is needed. So if we remove country quota then that means FIFO process.There is no merrit involved in this as everyone was tested by labor
  20. limbo's Avatar
    Hi Greg,

    Thanks for your responses. Although disappointing, at least you are interested in getting feedback from affected parties.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this fiscal year, EB3 for ROW, Mexico and Philippines will get a grand total of about 6000 visas. Since that is likely already used up, our category will go U immediately if HR3012 becomes law. The second and third years are even worse with only 4000 visas allocated to EB3 ROW, Mexico and Philippines.

    Faced with this reality, those of us familiar with the way the system works know we will likely see little or no movement in EB3 for us for many years, perhaps 5 or more. Just one specific example is nurses from the Philippines who have employers waiting for them to do consular processing. The employers will likely give up on the process and their chances of coming to this country have all but disappeared after all the money and time they have invested.

    I think most of us feel no one cares about our plight.
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