Once the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act was introduced to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration, the Committee quickly came to at least a partial decision on the issue of border control. The committee determined that the applicable amendment should require the government to achieve “effective control” of the entire Southern border, instead of just high-risk areas (in particular, select areas of California, Arizona and Texas).
Although there has been progress on the bill with the Senate Judiciary Committee, they will need to come to an agreement on many more topics before it will reach the full Senate for floor debate. One of the most highly debated topics is the level of restriction on foreign students and their visas. This issue arose due to accusations that conspirators of the Boston Marathon bombings were in the U.S on expired student visas. The free transfer of visa information to border control agents has been suggested as a potential resolution.
Another point of contention is the number of high-skilled worker visas that will become available with the passage of this bill, although the Committee has yet to strike a compromise on the issue.
You can browse the bill’s full text and follow legislative activity here.
There are also separate areas of the bill that members of House are anticipated to resist. In particular, some disagreements have arisen over the issue of healthcare benefits for the immigrants that will become legal with the passage of this bill. There is also high tension over the strategy of future debates (whether the bill should be addressed comprehensively or on an issue by issue basis). Despite these setbacks, House Speaker John Boehner recently stated that they are “essentially in agreement over how to proceed”. As a result, the aim is to formally introduce the bill by June.
You can read a more in-depth article about the House’s preliminary agreements here.
If you or someone you know is in need of an attorney, contact Miller|Conway, Goose Creek Immigration Lawyers, at 843.764.3334 to set up a consultation. For more information on our firm, areas of practice, or to read about our experienced attorneys, you can like us on facebook, follow us on twitter, or visit the firm’s website.