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Editor's Comments of the Day
Amid a flurry of last minute activity and some confusion
Congress has passed an H-1B bill to send to the President
for signature. We have seen some summaries of the bill
based on earlier versions instead of the final version
incorporating the last minute amendments. We provide a
of the text of the bill from the Congressional Record
of the proceedings on the floor of the Senate. The text
of the bill in the Congressional record
from the floor of the Senate includes as Title II
the "Immigration Services and Infrastructure Improvements
Act of 2000." This text was not reproduced in the Congressional
of the floor of the House. The bill contains many
provisions favorable to H-1B employers and employees.
H-1B employees will be able to start working for a new
employer when a petition is filed and if the INS takes
more than 180 days to adjudicate an employment based I-485,
the employee can change employers without invalidating
the underlying labor certification or I-140 as long as
the job is in the "same or similar occupational classification."
These provisions eviscerate the arguments of those who
view the H-1B-green card process as a form of indentured
The swift passage of S. 2045 in the House was a surprise since two other H-1B bills - including one championed by Lamar
Smith, the Chair of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, but disfavored by employers - had been introduced
in the House. Also introduced in the House by Rep. Moakley was H.R. 5362 which would increase the $500 fee originally
imposed by ACWIA to $1000. The bill S. 2045 goes into detail about the allocation of these funds for training and
scholarships. Congress would have no trouble spending the additional money.
Congressional News of the Day
House Passes the H-1B Visa Bill
Reps. Cannon, Smith, Owens, Conyers, Lofgren, Rohrabacher, Moran, Davis, Doggett and Dreier statements
in favor of Senate bill
S. 2045, the "American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000,"
were followed by the House vote to pass S. 2045.
Senators Comments and the Senate Vote to
Pass the H-1B Visa Bill
Sens. Reid, Hatch, Abraham and Leahy's comments on S. 2045, the H-1B bill, H.R. 3767, the "Visa Waiver
Permanent Program Act" and S. 2912, the "Latino and Immigrant Fairnesss Act of 2000" were subsequently
followed by the Senate vote passing the amended version of S. 2045, "American Competitiveness in the
Twenty-first Century Act of 2000."
Senate Passes Visa Waiver Permanent Program Act
The Senate passed an amended version of H.R. 3767, an "Act to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act
to make improvements to, and permanently authorize, the visa waiver pilot program under section 217 of
House Passes H.R. 238
The House passed H.R. 238, a bill to impose mandatory minimum sentences, and increase certain sentences,
for bringing in and harboring certain aliens, and to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide
enhanced penalties for persons committing such offenses while armed.
House Passes Private Bills
The House passed private relief bills for Kerantha Poole-Christian,
Luis A. Leon-Molina, Ligia Padron,
Juan Leon Padron,
Rendy Leon Padron, Manuel Leon Padron, Luis Leon Padron,
Sepandan and Farbod Farnia,
Zohreh Farhang Ghahfarokhi.
GAO Report on "Immigration Benefits,
INS Not Making Timely Deposits of Application Fees"
[You will need Acrobat to read this file]
In a report the House Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, Committee on the
Judiciary, the US General Accounting Office (GAO) found that the INS data on processing fees it had collected
was incomplete and recommended that the INS improve its information on timeliness, require a contractor to
make fee deposits in compliance with Treasury regulations and take appropriate action to ensure that service
centers and district offices comply with making timely fee deposits.
Sen. Leahy Comments on the Election of Vincente Fox
Sen. Leahy joined other members of congress in expressing
his congratulations to Mr. Fox and the people of Mexico
noting that illegal immigration continues to be a major
concern for both countries and that "a long- term solution
can only be achieved by improving the quality of life
Senators Grams and Helms Added as Cosponsors
to "Hmong Veterans' Naturalization Act of 2000"
At the request of Sen. Wellstone, the names of the Sen. Grams from Minnesota and Sen. Helms from North Carolina
were added as cosponsors of S. 3060, a bill to amend the Hmong Veterans' Naturalization Act of 2000 to extend
the applicability of that Act to certain former spouses of deceased Hmong veterans.
Sen. Harkin Added as Cosponsor to S. 3095
At the request of Sen. Kennedy, the name of the Sen. Harkin from Iowa was added as a cosponsor of
S. 3095, a
bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to remove certain limitations on the eligibility of aliens
residing in the United States to obtain lawful permanent resident status.
The Association of Chinese Americans Celebrates 28th Anniversary
Sen. Abraham recognized the 28th anniversary of the Association of Chinese Americans, Detroit Chapter of the
National Organization of Chinese Americans. The association operates outreach centers that provide assistance
to Chinese Americans in immigration matters, language classes, citizenship preparation, and registering to
INS News of the Day
Statement by the Vice President on the H-1B Legislation
In a Press Release Vice President Gore expressed his disappointment that the H-1B visa bill passed by the Senate did not include the Latino Immigration Fairness Act and called on Congress to pass it before adjournment. Gore also stated that additional steps should be taken in the House to ensure that the H-1B legislation provides adequate funding for job training and education.
Immigration News of the Day
Truckers Say Foreigners Work Illegally
The Des Moines Register reports that federal authorities are investigating reports that Australians and New Zealanders are being brought to the Des Moines area to drive trucks illegally for companies desperate for drivers. Although the federal probe has focused on highway safety, it has included a range of other allegations, including the use of forged Social Security cards and other documents and violations of immigration laws.
Ellis Island of the Midwest?
According to ABCNEWS.com even though the population in Iowa has decreased over the last 20 years, the population of Postville, Iowa, has risen by more than a third, an increase that can be attributed almost entirely to a steady flow of immigrants to the town.
ILW.COM Highlights of the Day
ILW.COM Wins Mishpat Net Award
Mishpat.Net Award is given to top legal sites every month.
ILW.COM Chats and Discussions of the Day
Chat with Donna Scarlatelli, Esq.
Donna Scarlatelli, Esq. of the Law Offices of Bander, Fox-Isicoff and Associates,
will answer questions on all aspects of immigration law on Thursday, October 5, 2000, at 9:00 p.m. Eastern
(New York) time. Questions will be accepted beginning 15 minutes before the start of the chat.
Letters to the Editor
Regarding Congress' passage of the H-1B bill, I think your Immigration Daily comments of September 28 quite
succinctly describe the situation politically: Even though Congress' discussion of the bill followed the
release of a GAO report quite critical of the program, Congress blithely ignored its own research service,
as if the GAO did not even exist. (They also ignored recent exposes by the San Francisco Chronicle and Los
Angeles Times of massive fraud in the program.) Such is the power that the computer industry campaign
donations hold over our nation's government….
(Read the whole letter here).
Professor of Computer Science
University of California, Davis