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NPZ Immigration Law Blog

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Obama Predicts, Immigration Bill will pass Bipartisan Bill in Congress Soon

President Obama made the statement last week that he is confident, that an Immigration Bill will be introduced in the Congress, in the next few months. The key senators charged with crafting the legislation indicated that, their process is almost complete. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) also confirmed that a bipartisan senate group is 90 percent done, with its draft of a bill which will revamp the Immigration law.

Overhauling the country's immigration system is Obama's top legislative priority, for his second term. He said that the law makers have come close and his expectation is that, we will actually see a bill on the floor of the senate soon. The biggest issue, however, is to resolve a long simmering dispute between organized labor and business group, over a new program to provide US work visas, for the low skilled foreign workers and the wages, that business should be required, to pay to those workers. The position of the labor unions was that businesses are trying to create a program that would let them import workers, to whom the employers would be required to pay the wages.

BINGO! President Obama's prediction was correct. Top labor and business groups reached the agreement on a guest worker program, for low skilled workers that would eliminate one of the last significant obstacles. To a new proposal for a broad overhaul of Immigration Laws, Senator Charles E. Schumer said "we are very very closer than we have ever been."

The Chamber of Commerce and the A.F.L-C.I.O., the nation's main federation of labor unions, have reached a tentative agreement about the size and scope of a temporary guest worker program, which would grant up to 200,000 new visas annually for low skilled workers, such as restaurant and hotel workers. It was also agreed upon, to exclude certain higher skilled jobs, including crane operators and electricians, from the guest workers program. This tentative agreement seems to satisfy both, the business community and the labor groups.

To settle the wage dispute, the two sides agreed, that guest workers would be paid the prevailing industry wage, in the guest worker program. Business and labor leaders both agree, that they need a system that responds to the needs of the economy and they are now in a position, where they are both coming together, around key reforms that will fix the broken immigration system and move our economy forward.

We believe that the legislators are writing the bills and the legislation, will be introduced in the congress, within the next few days. The passage of the bill, will overhaul the US immigration system dramatically, strengthening the border and cracking down on employers, as well as remaking the legal immigration system, and provide a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants already in the US. Under the emerging agreement, a new "W" visa program would bring tens and thousands of lower skilled workers. The workers would be able to change jobs and could seek permanent residency. Illegal aliens, who are granted legal status, will be eligible to apply for permanent resident status, after 10 years and may apply for US Citizenship 3 years thereafter. We hope that the comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill when passed by the congress, will include provisions to strengthen family Immigration preserve and strengthen a bedrock value of Americas Immigration System. Under the present system there is a long waiting period for spouses, children, and siblings, who are separated from each other, for years. There are nearly 4.3 million close family visa backlogs. Also the present immigration system treats women inequality, many who arrive as dependent spouses, are denied the right to work legally and face discrimination and server obstacles to assimilation.

Employment visas are also important for companies to recruit needed workers. But these workers have spouses, children, and siblings. The powerful truth is that family immigration is an economic bulwark. Families include job creating businesses, provide a safety net for their members hasten assimilation.

We need the workers for the economy. As Representative Luis Gutierrez said, "Silicon Valley Engineers and Entrepreneurs would not be productive or competitive engines of our economy, if they did not have food to eat, or people to care for their children or parents, or a clean office and clean clothes or a made a bed, in their hotel room or a business trip. Recent quotation from NY Times Editorial "Immigration is more than a business relationship American has with selected foreigners. It is a process that reviews this country, it means going all in on America, through binding ties, with love and blood. Recruited workers enrich the country. Reunited families do too."

Senator Lindsey Graham said "I think we are at a point now where 2013 is the best chance to have a Comprehensive Immigration Bill that I have seen before. I am confident. During his recent trip to South Carolina." A retired Marine asked him a question "If you are not here legal, why should you not be punished or thrown out of the country." Ms. Graham responded: Those who are going to have to get right with the law, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English and head to the back of the line before they become citizens. Does that seem fair? Mr. Lewis responded "Exactly", seemingly convinced, if wary.

While the Gang of Eight seem to have resolved the largest hurdle in reaching the agreement, Senator Lindsey Graham has stated that "we haven't signed off" and Senator Marco Rubio said that he was not ready to lend his name - to such a deal without hashing out the details. Obviously, when the bill goes before the Senate, there will be some debate, amendments before it is put to vote. We understand that the draft of the legislation will be completed this week. We will keep our readers informed of the developments on the Immigration Bill from time to time.

The breaking news is that the prior to the preparation and rolling out the Immigration Bill by the bipartisan group of eight, the House members are readying its own bill, which may be little different from the senate plan. Most likely, the House Bill may offer 3 paths. The first group may be for the young children who qualify as Dreamers, who will be allowed to have a pathway to citizenship, the second group to receive a path to would be immigrants who will be applying under the family or employment classifications, for permanent resident status. Also, the House Bill would most likely remove the 3 or 10 year bar for those who return to their home country to apply for Immigrant Visa, provided, they would pay the fines and back taxes and learn English.

The third group, remaining illegal immigrants, could apply for "provisional legal status", pay fines, and back taxes and learn English.This status would allow them to live, work, and travel legally and apply for green card after 10 years and citizenship 5 years after.

Aides to the House group hope to release their bill, before the Senators officially announce theirs.

Once, both the House and Senate Bills are unveiled; we will analyze both the bills and find out the differences between the two bills.

Let us hope and pray that the Comprehensive Immigration Bill will be passed by the Congress within the next few months.

For more information, please feel free to contact the Immigration and Nationality Lawyers at the NPZ Law Group at 201-670-0006 or by e-mailing us at info@visaserve.com


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