Senate Immigration Bill Aims at Addressing Labor Needs

The Senate Judiciary Committee met and considered few amendments on Tuesday. The committee debated on 38 amendments and adopted 24 amendments and more than half of these amendments were filed by Republicans. The Senate Judiciary Committee, on Tuesday considered Title IV of the immigration reform bill and this part of the bill deals with non-immigrant visas. Amendments that would strengthen and improve the H-1B visa program and the STEM visa program were considered by the Committee. These amendments would attract high skilled foreign workers and help America to remain competitive.

Amendments that would restrict legal immigration and that would prevent employers from hiring foreign workers, were rejected by the Senate Committee. Likewise, amendments that would close loopholes in the visa programs for foreign students, were adopted. Moreover, amendments adopted by the Judiciary Committee, would protect the H-1B visa program. The Judiciary Committee has made significant progress on Title IV of the immigration reform bill and it would again meet to consider the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, on Thursday. The Committee will move to Title III of the immigration bill that deals with E-Verify, after it completes its work on Title IV.

This Senate bill includes few provisions that would benefit US employers. According to the Senate bill, undocumented immigrants could apply for adjustment of status and obtain lawful status. Once the undocumented immigrants file their applications for lawful status, they could start working in the United States, legally. US employers could hire them legally and they would not be considered to be violating the country’s immigration laws. Likewise, US employers could hire immigrants who have filed applications for Blue Card status. Moreover, immigrants in Blue Card status would be permitted to adjust their status and to apply for Green Cards. Information related to the employees applications, that the US employers provide, would be used by the US Department of Homeland Security only to assess the merits of the application and not for any other purpose.

However, this bill would adversely affect the employers who are not using E-Verify as the bill would require all the US employers to use E-verify. This is to make sure that all the workers are authorized to work in the country and that no one is employed illegally. Most of the tech companies would also be benefited by this bill as the bill would raise the cap on the H-1B visas. Apart from that, new guest worker programs and agricultural worker programs would be created. Most of the provisions of the Senate bill would benefit the US companies that are in short of workers. Nevertheless, the bill aims at securing the borders of the country, legalizing undocumented immigrants and addressing labor needs.

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