Bloggings On Updates In Immigration Law
Editor's note: Here are the latest entries from Carl Shusterman's blog.
February 03, 2010
Universal Health Care Without Nurses?
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate each passed health care legislation in 2009, and the Administration is hoping to craft a compromise bill which would extend health insurance to an additional 30-40 million Americans. Although the Congressional debate was extremely contentious, one important issue was never debated: How can our country provide health care for tens of millions of uninsured persons when there are not enough registered nurses to care for patients now? The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has projected that the shortage of nurses will approach 1,000,000 by the end of the decade. As a result of our growing RN shortage, nurses are being forced to care for additional patients. Yet, a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) estimates that increasing an RN's workload from 4 to 8 patients would result in a 30% increase in patient deaths. Our country clearly needs more nurses. Can we educate more Americans to be nurses? Of course. Yet, despite the growing shortage, ten of thousands of potential students are being turned away from nursing schools because of shrinking state budgets. In addition, there are tens of thousands of foreign-born registered nurses waiting abroad for the opportunity to work in the U.S. Many have already passed the NCLEX examination to be licensed in the U.S. Thousands have been sponsored by hospitals in the U.S. The Department of Labor has designated registered nurses as a shortage occupation for immigration purposes for over a quarter of a century. So what's the problem? 1) RNs are in the employment-based third preference (EB-3) category. Under the present system, there is a backlog of over seven years for a person to immigrate to the U.S. in the EB-3 category. 2) From 1952 to 1995, it was relatively quick and easy for U.S. hospitals to obtain temporary (H-1 and H-1A) visas to care for patients in the U.S. However, Congress allowed the H-1A program to expire in 1995. It's time to get realistic about health care in the U.S. Our population is rapidly aging, and without proper medical care, there will continue to be thousands of premature deaths in hospitals due to overburdened nurses. We need to educate more RNs in the U.S. and we need to ease the restrictions on foreign-born nurses who have passed U.S. licensing examinations. It's just common sense.
Obama's 38 Words On Immigration
I listened intently to President Obama's State of the Union speech yesterday. The man is clearly a gifted orator. He stressed the need for cooperation between Democrats and Republicans on the big issues facing our country: the economy, climate change and health care reform, but where oh where was immigration? Finally, after the President was over one hour into his speech, I heard the word "immigration". One sentence. It came and went so fast that if you turned to your spouse and said, "Okay, here comes the President's plan for immigration reform", you would have missed the whole thing. Here are the 38 words in the speech which relate to immigration: "And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system -- to secure our borders, enforce our laws and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation." Has Congress been at work "fixing our broken immigration system"? If so, I must have missed it. Maybe it happened the same day that Scott Brown won Kennedy's Senate seat in Massachusetts, and the story appeared on page C23 of the New York Times below a Bloomingdale's bra ad. I'll have to check the back issues of the newspaper. Of course, since the President did not actually mention "Congress", maybe he was talking about the Administration's immigration policies. The DHS did grant TPS to the Haitians, a good thing that even some of the anti-immigrant folks agree with. Also, ICE announced that it was going to reform immigration detention shortly after the agency released a list of 107 detainees who have died while in ICE custody. This is certainly a welcome, if long overdue, development. I was skeptical about the possibility that Comprehensive Immigration Reform would occur before this year's elections. See "CIR: You Can't Always Get What You Want (When You Want It)". Now, following the State of the Union address, I can see that getting Congress to pass immigration reform legislation is far down on the list of the Administration's priorities. I, for one, am not holding my breath.
Carl Shusterman is the managing attorney of Law Offices of Carl Shusterman based in Los Angeles, CA. He has specialized in immigration law for over 30 years and his six-attorney law firm represents clients in all 50 states. Mr. Shusterman is a 1973 graduate of the UCLA School of Law. He served as an attorney for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) until 1982 when he entered private practice. He is authorized to practice before the Supreme Court of California, the Federal District Court in the Central District of California, the U.S. Court of Appeals in a number of different circuits and the Supreme Court of the United States. Mr. Shusterman is a former chairman of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Southern California Chapter and served as a member of AILA's National Board of Governors (1988-97). He has chaired numerous AILA Committees, spoken at dozens of AILA Conferences and has contributed a number of scholarly articles to AILA's publications. Mr. Shusterman is a Certified Specialist in Immigration and Nationality Law, State Bar of California. He has served as a member of the Immigration and Nationality Law Advisory Commission for the State Bar. He has been named as one of Best Attorneys in America and as a SuperLawyer for many years. He is a frequent writer and lecturer on immigration law. Mr. Shusterman has testified as an expert witness before the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration in Washington, D.C. His website, www.shusterman.com, receives over 1,000,000 hits each week, and his free, e-mail newsletter has almost 60,000 subscribers in more than 150 countries.
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