Comprehensive Immigration Reform 2014

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5 January 2014

Factors Affecting Immigration Reform as of 5 January 2014
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7 October 2013

We can talk immigration only after we get the country back in operation.  Follow my tweets and updates on the apps in the meantime.

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 18 July 2013

Summary of immigration reform status as of today  One line summary: we should know more after House recess ends on 7 September.

10 July 2013

House republicans have nixed a comprehensive reform approach.  They want to approach reform in a step-by-step approach through passage of smaller Bills.  See

10 July 2013

See Video for latest on the Immigration Reform Status, discussion involves H-1 Remainder Option and H-4.

4 July 2013

10 July is a critical date for immigration reform.  See video or review presentation slides.

27 June 2013

I am doing most updates through tweets and apps.  My tweets are updating on this page in the right panel -->
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19 June 2013

Rajiv's discussion on radio regarding immigration reform (S. 744) as it stands today.

12 June 2013

Rajiv's discussion on radio regarding immigration reform (S. 744) as it stands today.

10 June 2013

S. 744, the Senate Bill has been introduced in the Senate and will now be debated (expected for three weeks).  The Bill may see some amendments, but is expected to pass in the Senate.  The House is another story.  Let us see if the House will get behind this Bill, have their own version or poison the immigration reform altogether.

3 June 2013

Senator Chuck Schumer has announced that he expects to have the S. 744 Bill presented in full Senate on June 10 and have it passed by 4 July by 70 votes Read the significance of that number, 70, below in the 31 May note.  This does not mean necessarily that House will pass the same Bill.  Indications from the House leadership are still that they want piecemeal, not comprehensive reform.

31 May 2013

The fact the immigration reform bill (S. 744) had a relatively smooth passage through Senate Judiciary Committee is no guarantee of an assured passage.  The Bill can be filibustered (a way of delaying passed indefinitely) unless there are at least 60 votes in the Senate for the Bill.  And then, there is the House.

The House is controlled by Republicans, who have indicated they will not just rubber stamp S. 744.  Political pundits note that if the Bill gets 70 votes in the Senate, House may be politically impelled to go along with S. 744.  That itself is uncertain.

House members have also indicated that they wish to have their own Bill (which has not been agreed upon so far despite laborious efforts).  If that happens, selected members of House and Senate will sit in “conference” and try to negotiate the differences in the Senate and the House versions of the law.  There are considerable ideological differences between the republicans and the democrats, despite the agreement reached by the bipartisan Senate gang of 8 who authored   S. 744.

We are not done, just yet.

26 May 2013

So, now we wait.  The Senate Bill has been passed with amendments by the judiciary committee.  It will go to the full Senate early next month.

17 May 2013

As of last night, the House of Representative seems to have reached an agreement on their version of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform. According to the bipartisan group in the House who reached the agreement, there are some differences in their vision of the reform from the Senate version. The main challenges will come up when this Bill (expected in June) goes before the House Judiciary Committee (controlled by conservatives) and then in reconciling the Senate and the House versions of the Bills.

26th April 2013:

"H-1 and L-1 Under S. 744, Conference Call with Employers on 26 April 2013" video has been posted, See left panel for the video.

23 April 2013:

A new video has been posted today to help you prepare for April 26 Employers Conference call. See the Video on the left panel, "H-1 and L-1 Under S. 744, Conference Call with Employers on 26 April 2013". Please watch this video before the call so that Rajiv can spend more time in discussion and in answering your questions.

22 April 2013:

Under S. 744, H-1B dependent employers will be forbidden from outplacing employees.  Dependency applies for as little as 15% workforce consisting of H-1 employees.  Employers, join me in a free seminar this Friday, 26 April 2013.  Watch the "Takeaway" video in the left panel on this page. A recording of the Friday discussion will be made available for all. 

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Current State of Immigration Reform

As all of you know, immigration reform is a major political concern for 2013.  President Obama and Congressional leaders have indicated that comprehensive immigration reform is a priority.   Among the major issues that are being discussed are: 

  • Expanding legal immigration to retain highly-skilled workers educated in the U.S.;
  • Expanding opportunities for entrepreneurs;
  • Providing a suitable migrant worker system to benefit U.S. agricultural and tourism industry;
  • Protecting physical borders;
  • Preventing visa overstays; and
  • Implementing a path to full or partial citizenship for the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.

President Obama has indicated that his priorities are as follows:

  • Improving border security and disciplining businesses that knowingly hire undocumented immigrants;
  • Incentivizing highly-skilled and educated workers to emigrate to the U.S., and retaining those that have been educated here; and
  • Creating a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, contingent upon paying back taxes and passing background checks.

Currently, both the Senate and the House of Representatives ("House") are working on bipartisan proposals to increase legal immigration and restrict illegal immigration.  Senate aides are optimistic that a bill can be brought before the Judiciary Committee in time to reach the Senate floor by late May 2013.  Although a number of smaller issues remain unresolved, an agreement in principle was recently achieved after several days of negotiations between the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO (the nation's largest labor organization), and the eight members of the bipartisan Senate group, thereby clearing a major obstacle for the Senate's proposal on immigration reform.  Some of the notable details of the Senate's proposal include:

  • Creation of a new modern visa system that utilizes an agency tasked with collecting and analyzing labor market data,
  • A 13-year path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants,
  • More available visas for well-educated and highly skilled technology workers,
  • Improved work visa options for low-skill workers including an agricultural worker program,
  • Elimination of some family based visa categories,
  • Increases in border control, and
  • Improved enforcement against visa overstays.  

Under the plan, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would be contingent upon border security and visa tracking improvements.  The plan would provide for permanent residence of undocumented immigrants only after legal immigrants anticipating a current priority date receive permanent residence status. Undocumented immigrants would also be subject to background checks, and would be required to pay taxes and demonstrate a sufficient grasp of the English language. The House has its own bipartisan proposal that could be unveiled in the next few weeks.  Unlike the Senate, the House is proposing three distinct paths to legal status for undocumented immigrants currently in the U.S.  The three proposed paths include:

  1. An expedited road to legal status for "Dreamers" and low-skilled agricultural workers.  "Dreamers" are young immigrants without legal papers who entered the U.S. as children through no fault of their own.
  2. Immigrants who have either family or an employment relationship would normally be subject to returning to their home country for three or ten years, but the House proposal would relax this barrier.  These subjects would be allowed to return after payment of fines and back taxes, and after learning English.
  3. All other remaining illegal aliens could apply for "provisional legal status."  If they admitted to breaking the law, paid fines/back taxes, and learned English, then they could live, work and travel within the U.S. legally and apply for a Green Card after ten years, and citizenship after another five years.

After attempts for reform in the mid-2000's ultimately fell short, it appears that proponents of reform are gaining momentum. With a number of issues sure to be debated in the coming months, please stay tuned. To make your voice heard, contact your Senators and Congressional representatives.  It is easy to find out the names and contact information for your representatives.  For the House of Representatives, go to, enter your zip code, and click "Go."  For the Senate, go to and click on your state. To get updated information on this topic from us: - Visit this page 
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