As we asked last week: Now What? The answer is that the Republicans have done an immediate 180 degree turn. Already Sen. Graham (R-SC) has announced that he will work with Sen. Schumer (D-NY) to revisit their shelved 2010 Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) bill, which was torpedoed when the Democrats moved ahead with their healthcare initiatives, driving the Republicans into their do-nothing mode.
Now? H-1Bs, Green cards, STEM occupations all may be in play.
Back in 2010, the bill was called CIR ASAP (Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Sceurity and Prosperity). The CIR ASAP bill had these characteristics:
- Recapture of all Immigrant Visas (Family & Employment) from 1992-2008.
- STEM occupations exempt from the Immigrant Visa numbers.
- Immediate relatives exempt from Immigrant Visas quotas (this could be enormous and would be responsible for slicing the immigrant visa retrogression backlogs);
- Increases the per country visa cap, thus ameliorating the Indian, Chinese, and Mexican retrogressions;
- Spouses and Children of LPRs are Immediate Relatives and therefore IV quota-free;
- Employers have affirmative obligation to report recruiters working on their behalf and can be held liable for the crimes of the recruiter;
- Before an employer can hire an H-1B worker, the employer must meet strict requirements for the recruitment of American workers. This would also likely help Healthcare Petitions since the Healthcare staffing shortages are well-documented.