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Analyses & Summaries of Immigration Legislation

Published: Jun 26, 2007 1:00 pm By: American Immigration Lawyers Association Source: My Source
  • Summary of Key New Worker Provisions in S. 1639 (6/21/2007)
    AILA’s summary of the new worker (Y visa) program proposed in the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639). AILA Doc. No. 07062168.
  • Summary of Key Business Immigration Provisions in S. 1639 (6/21/2007)
    AILA’s summary of key provisions affecting business immigration in the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639). AILA Doc. No. 07062167.
  • Summary of Key Legalization Provisions in S. 1639 (6/21/2007)
    AILA’s summary of the earned legalization program for the current undocumented population proposed in the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639). AILA Doc. No. 07062166.
  • Summary of Key Family Immigration Provisions in S. 1639 (6/21/2007)
    AILA’s summary of key provisions affecting family-based immigration in the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (S. 1639). AILA Doc. No. 07062165.
  • Talking Points on Dodd Amendment to S. 1639

    Parents will no longer be "immediate relatives" under the new proposal.

    • Under current law, parents of U.S. citizens (USCs) are defined as immediate relatives, as are spouses and minor children, and are exempt from green card limitations.
    • The proposed immigration bill removes them from this category, subjects them to an annual cap of 40,000 green cards, and creates a new parent visitor visa category that would allow them to stay in the United States for only 30 days. Typically, 90,000 visas are issued each year to parents - the proposal reduces the number of visas available by more than half.
    • The agreement also penalizes all parents from a particular country by barring them from entering into the U.S. should the rate of overstay of parents from that country be above 7 percent in two consecutive years.
    • The debate around this provision goes to the heart of the value we place on family. Parents are not distant relatives but absolutely vital members to most families. Often parents enable their adult children to work by providing free and trusted care for their grandchildren. Immigrant parents also contribute their labor and talents to small, family owned businesses. The American economy also benefits from having American dollars earned here, be spent here instead of being sent overseas to family members left behind.

    Immigrant parents do not burden taxpayers.

    • Contrary to some arguments, immigrant parents coming through the family system will not burden taxpayers or the economy. As non-citizens, they are generally ineligible for the majority of federal public benefits unless they earn them through sufficient work. Moreover, their adult children must sign affidavits of support and prove they have sufficient resources to support their parents.

    The Dodd amendment recognizes the value we place on family by:

    • Increasing the green card cap to 90,000. The number 90,000 represents the average annual number of green cards issued to parents. The proposed bill sets it at 40,000. This amendment would ensure that sufficient numbers of green cards are available for parents to come to the United States.
    • Extending the parent visa to 180 days and making it renewable and valid for three years. These are already accepted timeframes for other temporary visas. 180 days is the length of a tourist visa; H-1Bs are valid for three years. The proposed bill, however, limits parents to an annual stay of 30 days, and does not specify long-term validity. This is too short an allotment - particularly for parents who come to help their children.
    • Making penalties for parent visa overstays applicable only to guilty parties. The proposed bill states that if the overstay rate among visa holders exceeds 7 percent for two years, all nationals of countries with high overstay rates can be barred from this visa program or the program can be terminated. Sponsors of overstays are also barred from sponsoring other aliens on this visa. This amendment strikes language that unfairly collectively punishes those who have not violated the law, allowing law-abiding parents to continue to unite with their children.
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