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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

COHEN INTRODUCES PATIENT VISA BILL

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I'm proud of my hometown's Congress Steve Cohen who has just introduced HR 1033, a bill that would make it easier for people coming to the US for medical treatment to get a visa for their trip. The bill will also make it easier for parents of children coming to the US for long term treatment to be able to get employment authorization documents. For many years, I have provided pro bono assistance to families of patients at a couple of children's hospitals. When I told Congressman Cohen about the terrible financial stress families undergo when they have to give up their jobs and businesses overseas to save the lives of their children, Congressman Cohen asked he could help. And now he has taken action with the introduction of this bill. This bill represents the best of America and I hope Congress takes action soon. Here'st the text of the proposed legislation:

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1033

To
amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to temporary
admission of nonimmigrant aliens to the United States for the purpose
of receiving medical treatment, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 12, 2009

Mr. COHEN (for himself and Mr. ISSA) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


A BILL

To
amend the Immigration and Nationality Act with respect to temporary
admission of nonimmigrant aliens to the United States for the purpose
of receiving medical treatment, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. NONIMMIGRANT CLASSES FOR ALIENS SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT AND IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS.

Section 101(a)(15)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(B)) is amended--

(1) by striking '(B)' and inserting '(B)(i)'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

'(ii)
an alien having a residence in a foreign country which the alien has no
intention of abandoning who seeks to enter the United States
temporarily and solely for the purpose of receiving medical treatment
(including participation in a research study) for a disease or
condition that, if left untreated, threatens to undermine the alien's
survival or day-to-day functioning with an increased likelihood of a
progression from a less severe to a more severe disease or condition; or

'(iii)
a son, daughter, spouse, or parent of an alien described in clause (ii)
if accompanying or following to join such alien;'.

SEC. 2. CONDITIONS ON NONIMMIGRANTS RECEIVING MEDICAL TREATMENT IN THE UNITED STATES AND FAMILY MEMBERS.

Section 212(q) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(q)) is amended--

(1) by striking '(q)' and inserting '(q)(1)'; and

(2) by adding at the end the following:

'(2)
For each principal alien admitted under clause (ii) of section
101(a)(15)(B), not more than two family members may be admitted under
clause (iii) of such section.

'(3)
The initial period of authorized admission for a nonimmigrant described
in clause (ii) or (iii) of section 101(a)(15)(B) may not exceed 6
months. Such initial period may be extended in increments of up to 1
year by the Secretary of Homeland Security based on documented need for
the principal alien described in section 101(a)(15)(B)(ii) to continue
to receive medical treatment in the United States.

'(4)
In the case of a parent admitted as a nonimmigrant under clause (iii)
of section 101(a)(15)(B) in order to accompany or follow to join a
child admitted under clause (ii) of such section, if the parent's
initial period of authorized admission is extended under paragraph (3),
the Secretary of Homeland Security shall authorize the parent to engage
in employment in the United States during the remainder of the parent's
period of authorized admission as such a nonimmigrant, and shall
provide the parent with an 'employment authorized' endorsement or other
appropriate document signifying authorization of employment.'.

SEC. 3. CONSTRUCTION.

The
amendments made by this Act shall not be construed to permit an alien
admitted to the United States under the provisions of such amendments
to adjust status to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent
residence.

 

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Comments

  1. George Chell's Avatar
    If we continue to have nursing shortage, many will go to Singapore for medical treatment which has no restrictions on nursing visa.
  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    This is a good bill.

    You should also ask Steve to introduce bill to make everyone here on a dual-purpose visa to be employment eligible. It makes no sense to give work permits to spouses of L1, and not spouses of H4. If you think these people are here for a long haul, it makes perfect sense for them to start off doing something productive.
  3. t-cell's Avatar
    To anyone who knows.

    Are there any un-bias/neutral groups or organizations that advocates for patient's rights? I know there maybe groups that claims to be patient advocates but I think most of them are bias and have their own agendas and this agendas and bias leads to them not supporting nurse immigration bills.

    I ask this because I think if such a group or org exists that they too join in advocating for temporarily allowing nurse migration to help alleviate the nursing shortage until the US are able to churn out enough home-grown nurses to fill the shortage.

    If there aren't, I think why not someone start one and then ask for signatures/petitions.

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