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Senator Rubio: S.744 Cannot Pass the House

May 2, 2013

Senate Bill 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, is scheduled for markup on Thursday, May 8th.

An excellent summary of the employment-based provisions in the bill can be found here, on the website of Fragomen, a global immigration law firm. As the summary indicates,

Immigrant visa quota allocations and backlog clearance. The bill would retain the baseline employment-based (EB) immigrant visa quota of 140,000, but during the first several years after enactment, additional numbers would be available to clear the lengthy EB green card backlog. During FY 2015, there would be an immediate injection of thousands of unused immigrant visas from Fiscal Years 1992 to 2013. In addition, during the first four fiscal years after enactment, up to 120,000 immigrant visas from a new merit-based green card program would be available each year to employment-based immigrants. In subsequent years, the EB green card quota would be 140,000 plus unused family-based immigrant visa numbers from the previous year.    . . .

Labor certification exemption for certain STEM graduates. Foreign nationals holding advanced degrees in STEM fields would be eligible for a national interest waiver of the labor certification requirement.

Although senators are expected to offer a number of amendments to the legislation as it moves from the Judiciary Committee and, ultimately, to the Senate floor for consideration by the entire body, Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the group which drafted the bill, was quoted yesterday in Politico as stating, “‘The bill that’s in place right now probably can’t pass the House,’ Rubio told Mike Gallagher, a nationally syndicated talk show host. ‘It will have to be adjusted, because people are very suspicious about the willingness of the government to enforce the laws now.'” The article continues, “In a separate radio appearance Tuesday, Rubio elaborated on the challenges facing the legislation in the House, saying the enforcement mechanisms in the Senate legislation would need to be much stronger in order to pass the lower chamber.”

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