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Immigration Reform: President Obama Sets the Ball Rolling
November 22, 2014
President Obama has announced his much-anticipated plans for immigration reform through executive action. Some critical aims of President’s executive actions would be to streamline legal immigration and promote naturalization; to create an opportunity for certain undocumented immigrants to register to temporarily stay in the U.S. without fear of deportation; crack down on illegal immigration at the border; and prioritizing deporting felons, not families.
U.S. Government Shutdown: How does it Affect Immigration Services?
October 01, 2013
An official partial shutdown of the U.S. government commenced October 1, 2013, following Senate’s refusal to pass two House of Representative passed bills that tied the funding of the government to funding or delaying the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”). As the shutdown takes effect, all “non-essential” federal programs and services are suspended. The shutdown’s effect on immigration services will be limited initially but may deepen if the shutdown continues. Read more to know how the shutdown will affect various immigration-related services.
Senate Approves Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill
July 02, 2013
In a historic vote, the U.S. Senate has passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill by a vote of 68-32. Welcoming the vote, President Obama stated that the bill, if finally enacted, would provide a big boost to US recovery, by shrinking deficits and growing US economy. With the passing of the bill by the Senate, the focus now shifts to the House of Representatives. Learn more about some of the notable proposals contained in the final Senate bill.
U.S. Immigration Reform Bill: The Good News and The Bad News
April 19, 2013
The much anticipated comprehensive immigration reform bill was introduced in the Senate by Senator Schumer. Some of the most notable proposals contained in the bill include raising the H1B cap from 65,000 to 110,000; employment authorization for spouses of h1b workers from certain countries; creation of a new startup visa for foreign entrepreneurs; elimination of family preference category for brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens; introduction of a new work visa classification called W Visa and abolition of the Green Card lottery.It is however important to note that this is the initial phase of the law-making process and some of these proposals may not be in the final version of the bill or may change before enactment.
W Visa: A New Classification for Temporary Workers Proposed
April 05, 2013
A recent agreement between the US Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO union envisions the creation of a new “W” visa classification for guest workers. It could be available as early as April 2015, if Congress approves the measure. The program would be available to workers in fields like hospitality, janitorial services, retail and construction, and foreign workers under the program would be allowed to petition for permanent resident status after working for one year. A new federal bureau is also proposed to be set up that would monitor labor market and identify labor shortages.
Supreme Court delivers split opinion on Arizona Immigration Law
June 28, 2012
The Supreme Court of the United States has delivered a split opinion on the constitutional validity of 4 contentious provisions of the Arizona Immigration Law SB 1070. The Supreme Court has struck down as unconstitutional, 3 out of the 4 provisions. The Supreme Court, by a majority, ruled that sections 3, 5(C), and 6 of SB 1070 are preempted by federal law, and struck down the 3 provisions. In respect of the fourth provision however, namely section 2(B), the Court held that it was improper to enjoin section 2(B) before the state courts had an opportunity to construe it and without some showing that the section’s enforcement in fact conflicts with federal immigration law and its objectives.
Bill Proposing Additional 55,000 visas annually for STEM Graduates Introduced
May 18, 2012
On May 15, 2012, Republican Senator John Cornyn introduced a bill “Securing the Talent America Requires for the 21st Century” or “STAR Act”, that proposes amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide certain immigration benefits for aliens with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM). Proposals introduced by the Bill include allocating 55,000 immigrant visas for eligible STEM graduates (Master’s and Ph.D.) of qualifying U.S. research institutions who have job offers in related fields; and allowing “dual-intent” for those admitted to pursue a STEM degree.
Orphans, Widows and Widowers Protection Act Introduced in the Senate
June 12, 2009
Senators Menendez (D-NJ), Gillibrand (D-NY) and Leahy (D-VT) on June 11, 2009, introduced the Orphans, Widows and Widowers Protection Act (S. 1427) which addresses the immigration related hardships caused by the death of a sponsoring relative.
Department of Defense Authorization Bill Includes Immigration Provisions
January 31, 2008
The Department of Defense authorization bill HR 4986 was signed into law (Pub. L. No. 110181) on January 28, 2008. This bill contained several immigrationrelated provisions relating to the naturalization of military families and Iraqi refugees and special immigrants.
Senate approves Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill
May 26, 2006
The Senate yesterday approved, by a vote of 6236, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 (S. 2611). The bill sets the stage for a SenateHouse showdown as the bill will now have to be harmonized with the bill (H.R. 4437) passed by the House in December.

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