President Obama has been re-elected for a second four year term. The Senate and House of Representatives largely have been kept in tact As usual, immigration reform is expected to be hotly debated. Republicans may be willing to cede from their traditional anti-immigration positions, in light of post-election analysis saying that their position is really hurting them with the Latino vote. It was President George W. Bush's relative success with the immigrant community that propelled him to his two victories.
The obvious place to start would be with employment-based immigration, specifically with immigration for workers in occupational zones that are unfilled by American labor. Professional nurses and Physical Therapists have been listed on the Department of Labor's Schedule A since 1980. Schedule A is limited to those occupations that the Department has "determined there are not sufficient United States workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available for the occupations."
In spite of this obvious shortage, it still takes Physical Therapists several years to obtain US green cards. For nurses, it's much, much worse. A fully qualified nurse who has passed an English fluency examination and the relevant state's licensing examination must wait approximately seven years to obtain the green card. If the nurse is Indian, the wait is ten years. This is ridiculous.
The President ought to be able to get the votes to end these delays, which hurt US patients and make intending immigrants question America's desire for their badly needed talent.