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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

[Congressional Record: December 20, 2001 (Senate)]
[Page S13945-S13981]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr20de01-159]                         
 
          STATEMENTS ON INTRODUCED BILLS AND JOINT RESOLUTIONS

.......................

      By Mr. HATCH:
  S. 1889. A bill to provide for work authorization for nonimmigrant 
spouses of intracompany transferees, and to reduce the period of time 
during which certain intracompany transferees have to be continuously 
employed before applying for admission to the United States; to the 
Committee on the Judiciary.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. HATCH:
  S. 1890. A bill to provide for work authorization for nonimmigrant 
spouses of treaty traders and treaty investors; to the Committee on the 
Judiciary.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I wish to introduce companion measures to 
two House bills that would end the barring of the spouses of `E' and 
`L' nonimmigrant visa holders from work authorization while they are in 
the United States. The House of Representatives passed H.R. 2277 and 
H.R. 2278 with broad bipartisan support earlier this year and the 
Senate Judiciary Committee approved the House versions of both bills by 
unanimous consent earlier today.
  The companion to H.R. 2277 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act 
to authorize the husbands and wives of treaty traders or treaty 
investors working in the United States, or E visa holders, to work 
themselves. The companion to H.R. 2278 is very similar, granting 
employment authorization to the spouses of intracompany transfers, or L 
visa holders. This measure would also allow individuals to apply for L 
visas after six months, rather than one year, of employment with the 
company with which they are working in the United States. I believe 
that both of these bills are very reasonable and deserve the support of 
the Senate.
  Both pieces of legislation would end practices that deserve change as 
they currently stand. It is not right to force one spouse in a family 
to forgo employment simply because the other is working in the United 
States. Granting employment authorization to the spouses of E and L 
visa recipients makes it easier for foreign countries and multinational 
companies to persuade highly qualified employees, who are used to 
having both spouses actively employed, to relocate to the United 
States.
  The time requirement for L visa applicants also warrants change. 
Current law requires that an L visa not be granted unless the applicant 
has been employed for at least 1 year with the employer in question. In 
many situations, this is too restrictive. This requirement inhibits 
firms who wish to hire individuals with specialized skills to meet the 
needs of clients in the United States. A shorter prior employment 
period would allow companies to meet the needs of their clients in a 
more timely manner.
  I thank the House of Representatives and especially Congressman 
Gekas, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration and Claims, 
for their hard work on these bills. Given the work between the House 
and Senate on these bills, I feel comfortable urging my colleagues to 
give these issues all due attention and support these measures.
                                 ______
                                 
      By Mr. HATCH:
  S. 1891. A bill to extend the basic pilot program for employment 
eligibility verification, and for other purposes; to the Committee on 
the Judiciary.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I stand to introduce a companion bill to 
H.R. 3030, the House bill that would extend a pilot program for 
employment eligibility verification of non-citizens. This bill would 
extend the program, set to expire this year, for two more years.
  This basic pilot program, available to employers in California, 
Florida, Illinois, Nebraska, New York, and Texas, was authorized in 
1996, and has proved to be an incredibly effective resource since them. 
The program allows participating employers to electronically access 
certain government databases in order to verify the employment 
authorization of non-citizens. Electronic confirmation of this 
information provides a critical tool for employers to ensure that they 
are not hiring unauthorized aliens. This program allows employers to 
protect themselves from the employer sanction provisions of the 
Immigration and Nationality Act, while providing meaningful deterrence 
to would-be employers who lack appropriate authorization from the INS.
  During this time of increased national security, we can all 
appreciate any tool that will facilitate enforcement of our immigration 
laws. After communication between the House and the Senate on this 
issue, and the favorable report from the Senate Judiciary Committee 
this morning, I have little doubt that my colleagues in the Senate will 
recognize the useful nature of the Pilot Program and support its 
extension.
                                 ______
                                 


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