Friday, February 17, 2012

WILL SEN. GRASSLEY KILL IRISH VISAS AND HR3012?

Sen. Grassley (R-IA) is no friend of employment-based immigration. He continues to have a very simplistic veiw about the way that modern economies are run. His myopic veiwpoint may now be the cause of the defeat of the Irish E-3 Visa Bill and of HR 3012, The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.

Politico now reports that Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) has been aggressively lobbying Sen. Grassley to release his "hold" on these paired bills. Sen. Grassley alone is responsible for these bills inability to become law. Sen. Brown has taken substantial efforts to get Sen. Grassley to release the hold. It is conventionally believed that passage of the Irish E-3 bill is a key part of Sen. Brown's re-election campaign.

The Irish E-3 bill would be similar to the Australian E-3 visa bill, which allows most bachelor-degree prepared workers to obtain an H-1B-like visa without many of the administrative burden incumbent in the H-1B. If the bill passes Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, and other allied health workers with bachelors degrees who are Irish citizens would have another avenue to come to the US. Irish Permanent Residents would be ineligible for the E-3.

The Fairness For High-Skilled Immigrants Act seeks to eliminate the individual per-country numerical quotas that exist in the allocation of employment-based green cards. The per-country restrictions would be eliminated over three years.

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