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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


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by Chris Musillo

Sen. Grassley (R-IA) has released his "hold" on HR 3012. HR 3012 has many components to it. It notably calls for an elimination of "per-country" immigrant visa (Green card) caps, which historically have limited the amount of employment-based green cards from any one country to seven percent of the total immigrant visa total. These per-country caps have created a longer processing time for those from high visa-demand countries such as India, China, and to some extent, the Philippines.  These per-country caps are based not on the skill-level of the immigrant, but on the immigrant's country of birth. It seems unlikely that such a policy would ever be passed today. Congress is right to get rid of them.

That having been said, HR 3012 comes with some warts, mainly as a result of a necessary deal with Sen. Grassley (R-IA), who passionately believes that employment-based immigration is bad for America. Sen. Grassley's amendment gives broad, "big-government" power, to the Department of Labor. The DOL will be allowed to delay and deny Labor Condition Applications for the vaguest of reasons. Sen. Grassley's expansion of government oversight is intellectually inconsistent for a Senator who just last week found expansions of government oversight by the Food and Drug Adminsitration to be "shocking".

With the Senate's summer recess drawing near, whether HR 3012 moves forward is an open question, although still more likely to happen than not.There are rumors that several other Senators are concerned with Sen. Grassley's amendment and may delay or deny the bill's passage. This would be a shame because the bill's main purpose, elimination of per-country caps, is an admirable one.

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  1. WeCanDoBetterThanHR3012's Avatar
    I see this is posted under nurse immigration. How will this help nurse immigration overall? Will HR3012 speed up, or slow down the ability of nurses from the Philippines to get CP processing? Will it help nurses in the Philippines who presently have PD's that are close to being current? If not, how many extra years will they have to wait since HR3012 is zero sum? If HR 3012 passes and they have to wait years longer, will their sponsoring employers agree to the additional wait?

    Be honest, HR 3012 would be a disaster for EB immigrants from all non oversubscribed countries. Why would you push such a law that hurts so many people, many of whom you and your company represent?
  2. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    It is hard to say what the specific impact will be since the law hasn't been passed yet. My sense is that it will hurt nurse immigration for non-Indian nationals, but help nurse immigration for Indian nationals.
  3. Average Joe's Avatar
    This article is a shame. You call elimination of per-country caps "an admirable" purpose, but have you ever considered what will happen to people from ROW you are already in line? Did you forget about long backlogs in EB3-ROW? What would be the impact of the Bill on them and their families?
    Should I wait for another five years just because someone want to change rules all of the sudden? Do you really believe that shifting the burden of the backlog from Indians to ROW a good and fair solution?
  4. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @ Average Joe - I certainly agree with you. Congress should guarantee all people with existing PDs that their green cards will not take longer than their retrogression the date of the enactment of HR3012 . Ultimately the problem isn't the equalization of Priority dates across all countries -- the problem is with the ridiculously low visa numbers.
  5. Average Joe's Avatar
    @Chris Musillo

    Cris, then may I ask you to add a paragraph to your article, that will specify that if this Bill becomes a law, it will result in significantly increased waiting time for EB3-ROW, because all that this Bill does is shifting the backlog from one group to another. In other words, I'm asking you to be fair and present the both sides of the story.
  6. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @Average Joe - See my 7/26 blog post that I just put up. I think it addresses your very fair criticism.
  7. Deva's Avatar
    For foreign nationals who are overseas, the process calls for a filing by the immigration attorney here in the US with the USCIS.
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