If you thought that HEALTH CARE REFORM was tough – wait until debate starts on Immigration Reform!
On December 15, 2009, Representative Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced legislation titled: The Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP).
According to Immigration Attorney Sheela Murthy’s law firm:
The bill addresses a wide range of key immigration areas. Comprehensive Immigration Reform is intended as an overarching rewrite of a laundry list of pervasive immigration problem areas.
It is an effort to address these issues in a cohesive manner, rather than in a piecemeal fashion. This includes many matters of concern to our readers, such as enhancements to the legal immigration system, as well as revisions to the H1B and L-1 programs.
Some of these areas of interest:
— The bill would allow family- and employment-based immigrant visa numbers that went unused between 1992 and 2008 to be “recaptured.” It would prevent future loss of numbers by allowing them to roll over to the next year.
— The bill also proposes to increase the percentage of immigrant visa numbers that may be used each year by a given country. Some categories of highly-skilled workers would be exempt from the numerical limits.
— The bill also proposes to permit nonimmigrant skilled workers to file applications for adjustment of status (I-485s), if otherwise eligible, even if their priority dates are not yet current.
• This would have significant ramifications…like the ability to obtain the employment authorization document (EAD) and possibly enjoying AC21 portability benefits.
— The bill contains significant revisions to the current H1B, H2B, and L-1 temporary worker programs. It proposes establishing a Commission on Immigration and Labor Markets to research and provide recommendations on the flow of workers into the United States.
— Included in the H1B changes would be requirements for recruitment of U.S. workers. The U.S. Department of Labor would be given additional enforcement authority. There would be audit authority given to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in connection with L-1 employers.
— Finally, the bill contains proposals to improve the process of naturalization to U.S. citizenship, and to encourage naturalization. This would include grants to community-based programs in English-training and legal support aimed at facilitating naturalization.
Gutierrez chairs the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Immigration. Here is the release:
On Tuesday, December 15, Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) will introduce new legislation, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009 (CIR ASAP), to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Gutierrez will be joined by members of many different faiths and backgrounds, including the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Black Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus and Progressive Caucus.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL-4), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Immigration Task Force
Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-12), Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11), Whip of the Congressional Black Caucus
Rep. Mike Honda (CA-15), Chair of Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus
Rep. Silvestre Reyes (TX-16), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (CA-6), Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus
Rep. Joe Baca (CA-43)
Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31)
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30)
Rep. Judy Chu (CA-32)
Rep. Joseph Crowley (NY-7)
Rep. Sam Farr (CA-17)
Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (TX-20)
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-34)
Rep. Ruben Hinojosa (TX-15)
Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-38)
Rep. Solomon P. Ortiz (TX-27)
Rep. Pedro R. Pierluisi (PR-At large)
Rep. Jared Polis (CO-2)
Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-9)
Rep. Jose E. Serrano (NY-16)
Rep. Anthony Weiner (NY-9)
Other Members of Congress
Introduction of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation
12:30 pm, Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Room 2261, Rayburn House Office Building
“We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President,” said Rep. Gutierrez. “The time for waiting is over. This bill will be presented before Congress recesses for the holidays so that there is no excuse for inaction in the New Year.
It is the product of months of collaboration with civil rights advocates, labor organizations, and members of Congress. It is an answer to too many years of pain —mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border— all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system.
This bill says ‘enough,’ and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of.”
Now we’ve been through this before. Last time a similar effort at Comprehensive Immigration Reform was shot down, largely by republicans.
What’s going to happen this time around?
When President Obama was campaigning for office, he placed Health Care Reform and Immigration Reform among his TOP priorities.
He’s had to deal with the economy which was tanking when he took office. He’s had to deal with Afghanistan. He’s also taken on Health Care.
Many of his supporters are NOT too happy that he decided to send MORE troops to Afghanistan.
Others are NOT pleased that the PUBLIC OPTION is NOT included in the Health Care Bill. Yet more remain unhappy with his administration’s handling of Wall Street excesses…not that there’s much he can do about that!
However, IMMIGRATION REFORM gives the president an opportunity to mobilize and energize the growingly influential Hispanic base and pacify Unions/Labor Leaders who are lukewarm at best over the Health Care Bill they’re getting.
DEMOCRATS – let this be a warning!
FAIL ON IMMIGRATION REFORM AND COME 2010 – YOU WILL BE THE ONES LOOKING FOR STATUS…AND PACKING UP TO GO HOME.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN!!!!!!!!!!