This Is It
The 108th Congress is going down to the wire. There are two critical pieces of legislation that remain: the 9/11 bill and the omnibus appropriations bill, both of which have significant immigration provisions. Here is our best understanding of the current situation with each.
The 9/11 bill: President Bush has been on the phone with a number of key Congressional representatives and is keen to receive a bill before Congress adjourns. Immigration Daily has learned that there has been a breakthrough in the Conference negotiations on most items that were contested but that immigration provisions now constitute perhaps the biggest sticking point in getting a bill on the President's desk. Since the Senate is united on this issue along with the House Democrats, and more importantly, since the immigration provisions in the 9/11 House bill have scant foundation in the 9/11 Commission's report, we believe that the 9/11 Conference will report a bill with few immigration provisions.
Omnibus appropriations bill: The fate of H-1B and H-2B relief is tied to this bill. This is truly a massive piece of legislation not just in the money involved but in the sheer number of pages. We understand that all day today many people involved in this process have been struggling with the basic appropriations language and that the riders haven't been reached yet. The leadership has already warned that this will be a relatively clean bill with very few non-approprations riders. Meanwhile, the anti-immigrationists have been flooding Congress with calls, emails, faxes to exert pressure against any H-1B and H-2B relief. The ultimate fate of the quota relief rider remains up in the air but perhaps the pro-immigration lobbyists on the Hill will pull this off.
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Congress Extends J-1 Physician Waiver Program
Congress passed S. 2302, a bill extending the Conrad 30 J-1 physician waiver program.
USCIS 33,153 H2B Petitions Filed Against FY 2005 Cap
The USCIS announced that it has received H-2B petitions for 33,153 beneficiaries counting against the 66,000 statutory visa cap for FY 2005.
White House Spokeman Reiterates Commitment To Immigration Reform
During a White House press background briefing, a senior administration official responded to a question and said, "...migration issues remain a priority for the Bush administration."
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Just read the Comment "President on Immigration - Act 2". Boy that's optimism - Would be nice if you are right - but I am not holding my breath.
I'm a Somali citizen who visited the US 3 times and carefully respected the US-Visa Rules and now a different Visa-Officer refused to
issue Visa for me because there is a law from Congress saying not to give Nonimmigrant Visa to Somali-citizens (that's what he told me). Am I eligible the Visa Waiver or is that considered bypassing Congressional law?
My paralegal was in for a shock when she tried to create a text field in one of many USCIS forms. The Abode Acrobat 6.0 told her to contact the USCIS to obtain the permission necessary to add a text field. Obviously, the people at Adobe never had to deal with the USCIS. I've contacted a friend of mine, a patent attorney in Los Angeles, and asked whether creating a text field on a government issued form creates any copyright infringement issue. He was just as lost and couldn't figure out why anyone would need to obtain a permission from a government to fill out a form. Adobe is obviously trying to mimic its rival such as Macromedia and is trying to prevent end-users from easily altering the original work/file. Trying to prevent hackers and others who have no regard for copyright of an original artist/programmer is novel. However, preventing attorneys and other users from create a text-field on a government issued forms make no sense. It's just plain stupid and very annoying. Adobe gets my vote for the dumbest developer of the year. Hopefully, other developers have not lost their sanity in zeal to protect the artistic value of the USCIS forms and create a software and new standard for document viewing that all of us can use.
Matthew S. Park, Esq.
Park & Associates, P.C.
Mr. Baer's letter highlights the flaws with the guestworker program proposed by President Bush. Mr. Baer may be a "willling employer" who has found a "willing employee" to sponsor but nowhere in his letter does Mr. Baer claim to have even attempted to find an American worker for the job. Nor does he state anything about the wage he's planning to pay, just that he's willing to be responsible for the employee. I can introduce any number of would-be immigrants who would be more than happy to come here and work for starvation (by US standards) wages - because they would be better off here than in their homelands. But in the meantime, where is Mr. Baer's concern for US workers?
I'm a 3rd year law student at Nova Southeastern University, I'm preparing a paper which basically analyzes the different congressional attempts to raise or modify the H-1 visa cap. Nevertheless, I have not been able to find the original bills that were proposed in the last years to modify the program. So far I have found comments on such bills but not the original text. Is there is any information that you have that may help me to find those bills or any compilation of materials in this area that you could make available to me.
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