Immigration Reform Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

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In a prior blog post, we discussed that the S.744 Immigration Reform bill that was introduced in the Senate provoke spars between business groups and organized labor. On May 21, this bill was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be sent to the Senate floor where it will be debated on June 10.

The Committee approved a total of 141 amendments to this bill, with really only a handful of them significantly changing immigration benefits. One of these amendments concerns H-1B workers, which was a major area of debate between business groups and organized labor. The amendment would increase the number of H-1B workers available as well as remove the labor-certificate requirement for employers that want to use the H-1B worker program. This highly favors the interests of business groups that were trying to make it easier to hire skilled workers from abroad.

A major provision of this bill, which was not discussed in our prior blog post, is that it would make employment-based immigration the focus of this country’s immigration policy. Many categories of employment-based immigrants would be excluded from the 140,000 national per year cap. Such categories include people of extraordinary ability, outstanding professors and researchers, and multinational executives and managers.

Foreign-born physicians would also greatly benefit from the bill, as it would become much easier for them to change jobs and obtain green cards.

If the bill passes the bipartisan Senate, it will then be sent to the House of Representatives, where debate is expected to be even more querulous.

Author: Sean Foley,  Legal Trainee, BridgehouseLaw Charlotte

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