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Chris Musillo on Nurse and Allied Health Immigration


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The only potential immigration bill that will come out of the American Congress this Lame Duck Session is the Dream Act. The Dream Act proposes to provide a "path" to legalization for illegal/undocumented immigrants who: (1) entered the US as minors (under 16), (2) have completed high school and either served in the US military for two years or completed at least two years of college, and (3) are of good moral character (e.g. no criminal convictions). The bill will only apply to those that have been in the US for five years or more on the day of enactment, so there is no risk of encouraging future illegal entrants. The bill has gone through a few different iterations, but these are the basic concepts.

The "path" is not an easy one. The House's version of the Dream Act, which was passed earlier this month, says that applicants must spend a minimum of 11 years after becoming legalized, before they would eligible to even apply for US citizenship. In other words, if the Dream Act was passed tomorrow, the first applicants would not become US citizens until 2021. During that time period, applicants would have another batch of requirements, notably a continued "good moral character" requirement.

The Senate bill is shortly supposed to come up for vote. The Senate vote will be a close one. Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is said to be spending loads of time working his colleagues for votes.

While the bill doesn't contain any provisions for healthcare workers, MU supports the bill and thinks you should too. For one, the bill appears to strike a proper balance the real-world concern of rewarding illegal entrants with the moral issues of penalizing children who have spent most of their lives in the US.

For two, it has been ages since Congress has passed a sensible immigration bill. By passing a moderate and moral bill, the US public may again see immigrants as people like them who help build a wonderful and enriched society. In turn, the healthcare community may get the immigration legislation it needs.


Read the full Healthcare and Immigration Law Blog at or

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  1. Rajani's Avatar
    Hi Chris

    Dream Act failed in senate. Does it mean no more all immigration issues are dead till 2013? Republican were in
    favour of Nurse Bill when Mr. Bush was the President, do you
    think they will initiate a Nurse Bill when the economy improves.
  2. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @ Rajani - Unfortunately, the Dream Act failed. I do think that if/when the economy improves we will see an immigration bill to deal with the retrogression of healthcare workers, such as nurses.
  3. SG's Avatar
    Hi Chris,
    Economists feel that the economy is improving and will grow stronger through 2011. Are there any efforts going on to introduce Nurse/PT visa bills now, so that when the economy fully recovers, the flow of nurses/PT can be maintained instead of waiting for delays in paperwork?

  4. Chris Musillo's Avatar
    @SG: There are no plans at this time. The belief is that if the DREAM Act couldn't get passed, that nothing has a chance of passing. That having been said, if the US economy and employment numbers turn, then we may see the outlook for immigration reform turn too, including a long-awaited nurse visa bill.
  5. fattah's Avatar
    Very sad. It passed; not sure if the gov has sigend it yet, but he prob will. He was the Mayor of Knoxville, a really good one, but he's not brave enough to veto it. He's a low-key, spoiled rich kid; his dad started & owns Pilot Oil (Pilot gas stations/travel centers).Stacey Campfield (from Knoxville X's district!!) is the low life who tried to get this passed for years, but there weren't enough crazies to do it. I could write a novel on this guy; he's quite a colorful, interesting local character, and only in his early to mid-40s!He was finally successful in passing it this year because so many Democrats lost their seats last Nov. Tea partiers moved in to take over lots of state gov'ts, so ours was no different. Our state gov't has always been an embarrassment, but they provided lots of humor, too. This bill was NOT funny, though.I sent emails to Stacey Campfield & to state legislators, begging them to vote against this, but I knew it was a waste of time. Hopefully it will be ruled unconstitutional, like most of their idiotic bills are.They also passed a bill requiring photo ids to vote, even though they were told that it was unconstitutional without a free photo id. They refused to order the state to issue free photo ids, and passed it anyway. Poor people can come up with $10, right? Too ******* stupid to comprehend it's illegal; wouldn't matter if it cost 50a2.Stacey Campfield was ushered out of a UT home football game on 10/31/09 (Halloween).It had been WELL publicized for over a month that NO costumes ESPECIALLY MASKS would be allowed for security reasons. Stacey showed up dressed as a caped super hero, complete with mask (Mexican wrestler!?!).His seat was in a moderately priced area, but after the game started, he moved to a vacant seat in an expensive area. There was a family nearby with children who were upset because their parents wouldn't let them wear their costumes and/or masks. The bratty kids kept asking loudly why the adult was wearing a costume & mask, but they couldn't. The parents asked Stacey to take it off. Instead of behaving as an adult, he yelled back; he's well known & probably didn't want anyone to know he'd broken the rules.A very loud confrontation ensued, which brought the attention of the UT Police, who asked him to remove the mask. He refused. They asked for his ticket & discovered he wasn't sitting in his seat. He kept getting angrier, refused to remove his mask, and wasn't cooperative about moving on to his own seat. The UT police finally had no choice other than to remove him! Of course he claimed that it happened because of his infamy but it happened because he broke so many rules!! There are plenty of these stories!He's probably the typical homophobe. Bet he's gay & in the closet; never been married, never seen dating, loves Mexican wrestling in costume? The only problem would be how hypocritical he's been.He's been trying to pass this for years, and every year he starts other bills just as stupid, but most are harmless and very funny! He continues to get reelected, for entertainment, I think.about an hour ago. I'm not sure that students can't speak with guidance counselors or other administrators; my impression is that it applied to teachers only. But I could sure be wrong.Happy Mother's Day to you, too!
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