Tuesday, March 12, 2019

THE FAIRNESS FOR HIGH-SKILLED IMMIGRANTS WILL DECIMATE NURSE IMMIGRATION


The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044), co-sponsored by Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Ken Buck (R-CO), and 200+ bipartisan members and the companion Senate bill S. 386 sponsored by Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) with 15+ co-sponsors) would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by eliminating per-country caps for employment-based immigrant visas, aspires to a worthy goal: a more equitable immigration system.   However, this proposal as it is drafted, would inadvertently devastate access to health care in the United States by restricting the immigration and hiring of foreign-educated registered nurses.
 
It is not law but could become law in 2019.  In order to become law, the bill would need to pass both houses of the US Congress and be signed by the President.  It is likely at least several months before Congress takes any action on the bill.
 
The law allows for 140,000 Employment-Based visas per year, of which 80,080 are used by EB-2 and EB-3. The Fairness Act does not change these numbers. It just re-orders the queue in which the numbers are claimed.  As of April 2018, there were approximately 550,000 EB-2 and EB-3 Indian immigrants and their spouses and minor children waiting for green cards. Additionally, there are 25,000 Chinese and 21,000 Philippine immigrants and their spouses and minor children also waiting for green cards. No other countries have material retrogressions. In total the visa backlog for EB-2 and EB-3 is about 596,000.
 
At a run rate of 80,080 per year and a backlog of 596,000, there will be a permanent EB-2, EB-3 retrogression of 7.45 years (596,000 / 80,080 = 7.45).  No hospital is going to sponsor a nurse today who is not going to arrive for 7.45 years. 
 
Unlike IT workers, nurses are ineligible for H-1B visas.  Therefore, while IT professionals are able to work inside the US while awaiting their retrogression, nurses and other healthcare occupations would need to wait outside the US for 7+ years.
 
The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act has a worthwhile aim: eliminating the incredibly long backlog for Indian EB2 and EB3 applicants.  Musillo Unkenholt is in favor of the bill, provided that it is modified in a way to allow nurses to continue to come to the US.  As it is currently structured, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would eliminate nurse immigration into the US.

15 comments:

  1. Im so scared of this. My PD is July 18,2018 and i have so many sleepless nights praying that i could become current soon before the bill becomes effective. I dont know how will it affect nurses.

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    1. Hi Daisee, The best thing that you can do is to encourage your hospital and recruiter to contact me so that I can explain how they can help.

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  2. God please no, do you have any idea when will this act become a law?My husbands PD is March 19,2018 EB3 Philippines and we are still waiting for his PD to become current...

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  3. Unfortunately you are worried about nurses. You should know that doctors are more valuable than nurses. There are beyond 50k docs waiting in GC backlog and it's easier to train a nurse in US than a doctor. I guess u are in the lines of CIS.

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    1. in healthcare professions no one is above, no one is most valuable. its a team work. FYI

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    2. Sir rajiv, with due respect, nurses are valuable as well more than you think of. We, nurses are patient's advocate. Sometimes if not always, we are frontliners and shock absorber of even the most negative emotions of patients and relatives. We work hand in hand with the doctors by carrying out their orders. Even the dirtiest job of cleaning and ofcourse inhaling the scent of vomitus, urine and stool are being done by us, dedicated nurses which i think wont be done by doctors. I hope you understand. So it is unfair for you to say that we nurses are less valuable than MD.

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  4. Sir rajiv, with due respect, nurses are valuable as well more than you think of. We, nurses are patient's advocate. Sometimes if not always, we are frontliners and shock absorber of even the most negative emotions of patients and relatives. We work hand in hand with the doctors by carrying out their orders. Even the dirtiest job of cleaning and ofcourse inhaling the scent of vomitus, urine and stool are being done by us, dedicated nurses which i think wont be done by doctors. I hope you understand. So it is unfair for you to say that we nurses are less valuable than MD.

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  6. hi sir, do you mind providing a number where i could call and avail of your consult formally? thanks!

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    1. Please email Chris. His email is on the right hand list.

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    2. Daisy, Im Daisee. Here is the email of atty Christopher
      c.musillo@muimmigration.com;

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  7. Good day mu,
    My eb3 PD is September 2018 PI.
    I know I cannot make it to the visa bulletin before this FY2018 ends.
    As stated, the act will become a law on October 2019 and 15% of GC will be allotted to non indian and non Chinese. I am aware that it will delay my PD. Ado you have an estimate if how many years I should wait?
    Thank you

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    1. No - the Act will only become if it is passed by Congress, which it has not been passed by Congress.

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  8. I am not againt nurses, but the fact that US trained foreign MD doctor has to wait for 150 years to get GC while nurses get it so easily in span of 2 or less years. Doctor shortage is expected to be 100k by 2022. Now with this huge 150 yr backlog, slowly doctors are moving out of US. If the bill doesnt pass, u will see only nurses!

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  9. The US is lacking of health workers especially Nurses, a thousands of baby boomers who are in this workplaces are retiring, leaving a vacuum were shortages are felt already, especially in our hospital.A numbers of our Nurses are floated in our Geropsych Dept. getting extra hours (overtime) just to fill-in the shortage.
    In immigration overhaul of loopholes, this bill may not be that urgent or being prioritize. The main focus now of the Trump administration is thwarting thousands of illegals coming from southern borders, using the the ER declaration to build the Walls, but was voted out by the majority of Dems & few GOP. This bill probably after the election of 2020, since the bipartisanship are preparing for their campaign strategy using immigration as their main platforms.

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