Sunday, November 15, 2009

DHS Secretary says Obama "Fully Committed" to CIR

Regular readers of this blog know that the best chance for liberalization of Schedule A visas – registered nurses and physical therapists -- is for the language of HR 2536 to be folded into next year’s Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Sen. Schumer has taken the lead on this issue and is rumored to be working on a CIR bill.

Nevertheless there has been some skepticism about whether CIR will ever be introduced. Some, like Rep. Gutierrez are getting anxious.

This week we saw the best indication that CIR is still on schedule. In prepared remarks to the Center for American Progress, DHS Secretary Napolitano said,

“the President continues to be fully committed to reforming our immigration laws, and why he asked me to take a lead role in this effort.”

Sec. Napolitano’s plan calls for a “three-legged stool”. She continued,

“Let me be clear: when I talk about “immigration reform,” I’m referring to what I call the “three-legged stool” that includes a commitment to serious and effective enforcement, improved legal flows for families and workers, and a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here.”

Legal changes to employment-based immigration, including improved legal flows for workers, is the only way that Schedule A visa reform can happen. We’ve seen a few indications that CIR is still set to move early next year. The Secretary’s remarks are the clearest indicated yet.

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