Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Embracing Sec. Napolitano's Message

Last week DHS Secretary Napolitano implied that immigration reform is the next challenge that the administration will tackle. The Secretary’s vision of Comprehensive Immigration Reform is a “three legged stool,” where the three legs are:

- 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.

It is the second leg of the chair that appeals to those interested in liberalized Schedule A visa numbers. A law such as HR 2536 will allow for a steady flow of internationally trained nurses and physical therapists and also compel the recruitment community to fund domestic nurse education programs through additional filing fees for visas.

The popular press is beginning to pick up on Sec. Napolitano’s message. In the last few days, I have seen these stories and editorials:

New York Times: Their Future Is Ours

Washington Times: Will Democrats Err in Immigration Reforms?

WSJ: Immigration Reform is back on the table (confirms that Sen. Schumer’s office is working on producing a “firm but fair bill”)

Dallas Morning News: Time hasn't made immigration reform easier

Newsweek: Rosier Prospects for Immigration Reform

McClatchy: Immigration Reform is Long Overdue

All of the editorials and articles focus on the third leg: a firm but fair way to deal with those who are already here. That aim is important. But the failings of the Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 were that it failed to deal with the immigration problems on an on-going basis. IRCA solved the problems of the past, but did nothing to solve the problems of the future.

Toward that end, Sen. Schumer and his staff reportedly are also rewriting part of the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for improved worker flows, including perhaps a progressive nurse visa policy in line with HR 2536. Legislators and the media should keep in mind that the stool has three legs.


  1. Hi Chris

    good vacation?

    So what do you think will happen going back to my earlier post?

    It seems that they are looking at CIR I got the impression from your blogs that you weren't expecting that only minor reform?

  2. Hi Kerry-
    I did have a nice few days off to California to see some friends.

    I think that CIR has a 50-50 chance of happening in early 2010. If it is enacted, I think it will have an increase in employment-based visa numbers. I also think it has a good chance of including the langauge from 2536.

  3. Hi Chris,

    50:50 is obviously a disappointment for us. I go an email from one of your friend that there is little chance of attaching the Nurse bill to Healthcare Bill. Do you think a possibility? In a worse senario i.e. neither the CIR nor the Health Bill gets passed what will happen to the Nurse Bill especially when the economy improves? Warm regards

  4. Hi Rajani-

    Unfortunately I do not think there is any chance of the nurse bill being attached to the Healthcare bill.

    We've been told to wait for CIR and that is the plan at this point. There is no Plan B. We're targeting CIR.

  5. Thanks for that Chris

    Next question would you like to guess at how many people are waiting for employment based visa's I'm curious I'm estimating it must be a million plus!!

    How likely is he to make 280,000 available each fiscal year

    I'm just trying to estimate whether anything happening is likely to effect me. I don't personally think it will anytime soon but need to know so I can decide what to do with my career d:-(

  6. Hi Kerry-
    Believe it or not, no one really has any idea how many cases are pending!

  7. Hi Cris,
    In my case, I'm already documentary qualified by the NVC and just waiting for the visa to come available. Does this mean that if visa will already be available, we who are already documentary qualified by the NVC will be given our schedule of interview right away or still wait for a couple of months for our interview.Cause I'm afraid that my PD will retrogress again if it still takes a couple of months...Thanks Cris.

  8. Hi Helen-
    Generally is takes a few months between the establishment of the PD and the actual visa appointment.

    I understand your fear. It has happened to many people in the past. The DOS tells me that the reason that they have retrogressed the numbers so far back is to eliminate the dates from ever having to re-retrogress again. So hopefully your fear doesn't turn into reality.


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