Speaker John Boehner told rank-and-file Republicans that his leadership team was drafting “principles” for overhauling Immigration laws that will be presented in coming weeks.
The Senate, controlled by Democrats passed a broad Immigration overhaul plan in June 2013. The Senate bill called Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744)allowed for broad overhaul of the current Immigration system, including a path to legalization for the more than 11 Million undocumented individuals currently living in the U.S.
It is unlikely that the GOP controlled House will allow a similarly broad bill to pass; rather, it seems far more likely that the GOP will allow for smaller bills to proceed. Our prediction is that the GOP will move ahead with these three issues:
- Adjustment of Status for youth: The Senate bill allows Individuals who entered the U.S. as children adjust status i.e. acquire Lawful Permanent Residence in the U.S.(a smaller component of the originally proposed DREAM Act) A smaller version of this called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or “Deferred Action” is already in process.
- StartUp Act: The StartUp Act originally proposed back in 2010 by Senator Kerry, has gone through several revisions and currently stands at StartUp 3.0. The StartUp visa would allow for:
- foreign entrepreneurs who will employ at least five full-time workers — who are not family members — to stay in the U.S. for up to three years. Applications would be open to holders of the H-1B or F-1 visas as long as they've already raised at least $100,000 in funding and are employing at least two people currently.
- create a new five-year visa for foreign students in STEM disciplines who get a job in a technical field. Students would then have the right to become a legal resident and possibly a citizen after that five years
- Immigration Innovation Act: This would increase the number of H-1B visas available in any given year; would allow foreign students to have “dual intent” so they do not have to show an intent to return to their home country at the end of their academic program; allow certain job categories like STEM related field to be exempt from employment based Green Card cap
Please stay tuned for updates as we will be posting updates on the Immigration legislation front as soon as we receive them.