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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

THE SISKIND SUMMARY: A SECTION BY SECTION REVIEW OF THE GUTIERREZ IMMIGRATION REFORM BILL

Rating: 14 votes, 5.00 average.

I've been working on this 60 page summary of the 643 page Gutierrez bill since I got it two days ago so make no guarantees that it is perfect given the turnaround time. I hope folks find it useful.





Summary of HR 4321 - The Gutierrez Immigration Bill -

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  1. beppe's Avatar
    Greg, thank you but it will never happen
  2. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Beppe - I wouldn't always follow the conventional wisdom. There will be many surprise supporters of immigration reform, particularly from Republicans in the Senate. While the economy makes it tougher, an actual head count of members of Congress looks better than you might think.
  3. Vento's Avatar
    It is a bit surprising that they talk about not counting immediate relative numbers in the family green cards but not do the same for Employment based when it should be the opposite where the employment based is determined by the employability of primary applicant and hence has little to do with immediate family numbers. Just a thought...............even if the proposal for visa reform is implemented AS IS, I wonder for India and China how far will the EB2 and EB3 move without an increase in the quote Vs with an increase in quota from 140 to 290 K (that seems like a hard one to sell in the congress)
  4. gg's Avatar

    Senator Charles Schumer lays out immigration strategy By INTELLIGENCER
    ,Irish Voice Published Friday, December 18, 2009, 8:30 AM Updated Friday, December 18, 2009, 8:45 AM

    New York Senator Charles Schumer has indicated that significant progress has been made in seeking to achieve comprehensive immigration reform early next year.

    Schumer gave a lengthy interview to El Diario this week in which he made some very telling points about his strategy, as immigration reform becomes an issue on the agenda for the early months of 2010.

    Clearly he is trying to achieve a fait accompli before the bill ever gets to the House or Senate floor. He is working closely with Senator Lindsey Graham to try and achieve that. (The following quotes are a Google translation form the original Spanish version that appeared in El Diario).

    "The only way I can make this happen, is that when we announce the law, we are all together, immigrants, employers, trade unions, religious groups, evangelical, Democrats and Republicans, "Schumer said stating that negotiations between these groups have made considerable progress.

    Schumer said that we must find a way to stop illegal immigration with an emphasis on the employer. Clearly this is his olive branch to the Republicans.

    "The only way to stop illegal immigration is that employers do not hire them. We do not know the exact form this will take, but all citizens and non-citizens ... should use a Social Security card with photo and biometric (fingerprint). Everyone will have to use the card when applying for a job and that will pass through a machine," he said.

    "If the employer hires someone with no papers he will have a huge fine and possibly go to jail. This will cut illegal immigration by 90%, " the senator added.

    It is also clear that Schumer will be insisting on a fine of some sort when illegals come forward to be processed for the amnesty - which, come to think of it, would not make it an amnesty as it would involve admitting a wrong.

    That is tough talk from a Democratic senator, but shows that Schumer is not going to tolerate half-baked solutions to the issue that have no hope of passing muster in Congress.

    Schumer also says considerable agreement has been reached on several categories of visas.

    For workers with visas, he said: "We reached agreements in relation to which we do with high-skill workers, including agriculture jobs (like 2007), we have an agreement on temporary workers and we will maintain the quota of 65,000 H1-B visas, but that'll change ... foreign professionals in fields as science, technology, engineering and mathematics," will likely get preference, he said.

    Schumer will likely face most opposition from within his own party and from immigrant support groups for his tough version of immigration reform. However, to get President Obama on board he knows he will have to walk a thin line between such groups and the reality of the Republican hardline on immigration.

    No doubt the idea of paying a fine when seeking a green card will be a big issue, but if the fine is not for a huge amount and if the person is then free to work legally it would be hard for the undocumented themselves to turn it down.

    Schumer is talking sense and needs to be listened to. There is simply no chance that an immigration reform bill that does not crack down on employers who hire them and asks them to pay a fine can get through in the current climate.

    The difference between the perfect and the good has never been more obvious. Immigration groups really need to rally behind Schumer's bill when it is published for them to have any chance at all to make life better for the undocumented.

    The real fear is that the reflexive attitude that the bill is not good enough will take over. There is simply no reason why that should be the response
  5. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Vento - Please take another look at the summary. Masters degree holders and higher from US schools, specialist physicians, EB-1 calibre folks, etc. are removed from the green card caps. Per country quotas are increased by 50%. Numbers will roll over from year to year. People waiting on quotas can file adjustment applications which will make folks portable while they wait on a green card. These are all massive improvements on the status quo.
  6. AJ's Avatar
    What is the rationale behind disallowing people with legal visas from getting a green card using the legalization mechanism? It would work better for some categories of people already in the US as they would not have to be dependent on an employer or family sponsored process.

    The way the bill is written, most people can qualify by submitting documents to show that they violated status in some way, so why the qualifier in the first place?
  7. Sagar's Avatar
    Hi Folks,
    I have a doubt; If Health care bill passed, it will make millions of Americans to access to hospitals; that case, they need more medical staff like docs, nurses, physical therapist etc..? So, that way, passing Health care will help nurses and P therapist to get their GC?
    Any comments..?
  8. Jim's Avatar
    @Sagar,

    In my opinion, yes. If HC reform passes, more HC jobs in general will be created overtime specially primary doctors and bedside nurses in both hospitals and nursing homes. This will further make the shortages more prominent.

    Even nursing unions knows this as well and only antis and xenophobes thinks otherwise and spreads the complete opposite (HC reform means less HC jobs - yeah right!)

  9. beppe's Avatar
    i am still skeptical, for me i looks like a circus. the problem that now, more than ever, US needs cheap labour, so the will stop raiding people, increase h1-b but no green card.
  10. Jim's Avatar
    Let me clarify that in my previous post I am only talking about HC Reform resulting in more HC jobs overtime.

    The next step is immigration reform to bring in more doctors and bedside nurses, then HC reform will actually stress the HC system.

    Breaking news is Sen. Ben Nelson already agreed to be the 60th vote. So, there will indeed be a Senate version of HC reform before Christmas.

    Watch out for antis and xenophobes claiming HC reform will produce the exact opposite -> HC reform = less HC jobs.

    Some antis and xenophobes with commonsense will concede that there is no way primary physicians and bedside nurses (not those that do not actually do hands-on patient care and hasn't even gone out of their State or even out of their county to know that majority of the areas and regions in U.S.A. really do have well-documented shortages) will be produced to handle the load. Heck, even if there is no HC reform the projections were already saying that more shortages looms due to baby-boomers. Now, with HC reform passing there is no way of spinning this fact anymore. HC reform will make the projected HC shortage more prominent.

  11. Sid's Avatar
    Vento,

    This is a very liberal bill for EB. If passed in the current form, due to spillover from EB1 and EB2-ROW, the backlog will be cleared in a year or two. The USCIS will continue to process applications at their own slow pace but once retrogression ends more people will opt for Consular processing to avoid multi-year waits in AOS.
  12. gg's Avatar
    If the bill passes in its current form (house bill), I think tens of thousands waiting in the EB3 and many in the EB2 are going to be short changed by the exemptions mentioned above by Greg. 50% increase in quota especially for high demand countries does not help much to reduce the current backlog. People most likely to benefit are those currently in US schools doing master and those who have already completed.
  13. KJ's Avatar
    Did anyone read about the proposed PUM category, and the fact that it requires applicants to not have a Bachelor's or higher degree? What a joke! God help the poor Latino who went to school!
  14. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    KJ - Completely agree. I don't know why we're moving so far away from a great CIR bill - McCain/Kennedy from 2005/2006. But Gutierrez is really just a collection of ideas and we can focus on promoting the good ones and make sure that the bad ones are scrapped before we finally get a bill (whether it is in 2010 or 2011).

    PUM is bad for many reasons. But my favorite dumb thing about this provision is that it's a lottery. That's hardly beneficial in terms of finding workers for positions where US workers are not readily available.
  15. Sid's Avatar
    gg,

    the annual EB quota will be increased to 290K, per country limit will be increased to 10%, lost visas will be recaptured, US masters will be excluded from the quota and those with approved I-140s will be able to file for AOS for an extra $500.

    That means that all the retrogressed countries are guaranteed 29K visas instead of around 10K today. EB1 and EB2-ROW are current, so think about the number of spillover visas that'll be available to EB2 I/C and eventually to EB3-ICMP.

    If you are not satisfied with all these goodies, your expectations are simply too high.

    I would request all EB applicants from retrogressed countries to enthusiastically support this bill if it is taken up by the Congress next year. It's not going to get better than this.
  16. beppe's Avatar
    oh god, we are already talking 2011? If the dems wants to do , this is the last year. They are going to loose a lot of seats in the house, so or this year or never.
  17. Anonymous's Avatar
    So in title 3 section 304, it's talks about the bar for unlawful presence. If this bill passes, does this mean that people who overstayed their visa more than a year, left the country and can not come back even if the visa is available (parents being sponsored by US citizen child) due to 10yr bar of unlawful presence, will be able to get a visa and bar will be waived?
  18. gg's Avatar
    I don't have anything against stapling a green card to every US degree certificate but in this case it seems like the folks who need immediate exemption are not the ones who are coming out of US schools or those who already did but the ones who have been patiently waiting in the long lines for years. Some of them were kicked to the back of the line each time they had a loss of job or other circumstance. Exempting one category should not come at the cost of the other. It makes no sense when people who have made contributions to the country and their community wait in the line while folks who just go to US schools get a better treatment. If this bill passes then its a big win for the education lobby. Given the fact that hardly 15% of US universities produce quality folks and the remaining are degree issuing factories provided you pay them the right money. Already most of the Universities have online programs and overseas students arerigging the game by taking many courses outside the US online and just taking the minimum required in the US schools. Many brilliant engineers are stuck in the EB3 and someone should look into amending the above bill to consider the equivalent of US masters as a non-US Bachelors + 3-5 yrs of US work experience. This way many if not most of the folks in the EB3 will be exempt and the backlog could vanish in a couple of years. Given the fact that being sucessfull in the US is not as much to do with your skills or knowledge or degrees but more to do with your immigration status, I do think this provision as written is unfair.
  19. Sid's Avatar
    I don't disagree that it's unfair but I think that with EB3-I still stuck in the ice age, this'll be a significant improvement.
  20. ST's Avatar
    Greg - I am an Indian with US university awarded MS degree holder. I am in H1 for 3 yrs now. Assuming this bill pass through, will I get my green card within a year (I haven't started the EB process yet).
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