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Immigration Reform: Unclear but Optimistic

Provided by Humera Subhani Email Provided by Humera Subhani
August 2013
Immigration Reform: Unclear but Optimistic

How strong is the opposition to the immigration bill in the House of Representatives?

Groundbreaking immigration reform, which was approved by the Senate in a decisive 68-32 vote in late June, would provide a path to legal status for as many as 11 million undocumented workers. However, the real fight has come in the House of Representatives.

The bill could be passed in early 2014, according to Daniel Clifton, the Washington analyst at Strategas Research Partners. "Although at times it will look as if the House and Senate cannot agree on a final immigration reform plan, most of the controversial issues will likely get worked out and passed into law by the end of Q1 2014," he told Barron's magazine.

Among the measures in the sweeping Senate bill are a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants in exchange for payment of back taxes and penalties, and a doubling in the number of skilled immigrants granted temporary H-1B visas. It would also require a dramatic increase in border security, including an expansion of the fence along the Mexican border, doubling the number of patrol agents, and more-robust employment verification.

The House has a piecemeal approach in the works—with smaller bills addressing enforcement, expanding the number of visas for tech workers, and a new mandatory system for companies to verify their workers' legal status.

CBS News reported on July 15 that “Republican and Democratic leadership seem to agree on only one thing these days: An immigration reform bill that may or may not be comprehensive, may or may not further beef up border security and may or may not open a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States must make it to President Obama's desk— and soon.”

Also, according to the Huffington Post, House Speaker John Boehner declined to rule out the option of providing a path to citizenship to undocumented immigrants, saying it remains to be seen whether legalization can pass the House.

Important Advancements in August Visa Bulletin
The U.S. Department of State (DOS) Visa Bulletin for August 2013, as predicted, contains significant advancement in the cutoff date in the employment-based second preference (EB2) category for India. The EB2 India cutoff date, effective during August 2013, advances to Jan. 1, 2008.

The family-based second preference "A" (FB2A) category for spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs or "green card" holders) becomes current throughout the category in August. This, too, is consistent with previous DOS projections.

VISA PREFERENCE NUMBERS FOR August 2013

FAMILY

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

01Sep06

01Sep06

2A

Current 

Current 

2B

01Dec05

01Dec05

3rd

08Dec02

08Dec02

4th

22Jun01

22Jun01

 

 

EMPLOYMENT

India

Pakistan/Bangladesh

1st

Current

Current

2nd

01Jan08

Current

3rd

22Jan03

01Jan09

Other

22Jan03

01Jan09

4th

Current

Current

5th

Current

Current1B



 

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