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Senator Grassley Places a Hold on H.R. 3012 in the Senate

December 1, 2011

Promptly upon Tuesday’s passage of H.R. 3012 by the House of Representatives, Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa placed a hold on the bill in the Senate. He stated his objections in the Congressional Record:

Mr. President, I rise to inform my colleagues that I am placing a hold on H.R. 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. This bill would eliminate the per-country numerical limitations for employment-based visas and increase the numerical cap for family-based immigrants. I have concerns about the impact of this bill on future immigration flows, and am concerned that it does nothing to better protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs during this time of record  high unemployment.

Bloomberg Businessweek has an editorial out this morning criticizing Senator Grassley’s actions. In describing HR 3012, Bloomberg notes

What the legislation will not do is increase the total number of green cards dispensed. That’s a shame because doing so could help boost a still-sagging U.S. economy. Only 15 percent of visas are granted for economic reasons, a policy that undermines U.S. companies competing in a global talent pool.

. . .

The 112th Congress has made little progress of any sort and none at all on immigration. There is no reason a bill that passed the House by an overwhelming margin should be stymied in the Senate. For the health of the U.S. economy — and perhaps for the health of Congress itself — this eminently passable, aggressively unobjectionable, bipartisan legislation should be approved quickly.

Another objection raised by commentators is that, although the bill will decrease the backlogs for those immigrating from India and China, after the 3-year phase-in process, backlogs will still exist but will be distributed equally amongst those seeking green cards.

The move will likely raise the frustration levels of people in other nations, such as the Philippines and South Korea, who may see their waits for a green card lengthen.

After the phase-in, the new employment-based green card system will essentially be a “first to file” system rather than an allotment system based upon country of birth. The New York Times quotes Stuart Anderson, Executive Director of the National Foundation for American Policy, as estimating the wait time for an employment-based green card to even out over time to 12 years for applicants from all countries.

  1. Senator Grassley should immediately remove hold on this bill. This was long due and is the right step.

  2. parry permalink

    he should understand what this is all about. its like some people just have to say ” i oppose” the moment they hear the word immigration.
    this is truly a fairness act especially for people who are in this country and paying taxes but waiting to be normalized

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. H.R. 3012 & the Irish E-3 Visa Provision « Immigration Legal News
  2. Update on H.R. 3012 & the Irish E-3 Visa « Immigration Legal News
  3. UPDATE ON H.R. 3012 – New Amendment from Senator Grassley « Immigration Legal News

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