Immigration Reform Opponents Slowly Evolve

September 3rd, 2013

With an emerging consensus that immigration reform isn’t the disastrous cancer its opponents have made it out to be, the naysayers have quieted their protests. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has found that the current Senate immigration bill would reduce the federal budget deficits by $175 million, and research from the Information Technology Industry Council shows that immigrants create, on average, 2.62 STEM jobs for every American worker. All signs point to immigration reform being an overwhelmingly good thing for America, and that’s something that can no longer be ignored.

Over the past few months, Republican political leaders like Grover Norquist, Rupert Murdoch, Jeb Bush, Bill O’Reilly — and a host of others once opposed to reform — have voiced support for immigration. And more than 100 Republican donors and strategists have signed a letter to House Republicans, urging them to move on immigration and pass a bill similar to S. 744.

Polls are revealing a shift in attitude among Republican constituents, as well. Recent surveys have found that 70% of conservative voters nationally would support a path to citizenship with various conditions such as fines, back taxes and criminal background checks.

Logic and facts aside, what else is behind the shift in opinion? Many experts are pointing to the 2012 re-election of Barack Obama as a key factor. With a strong turnout of Latino voters (10.8 percent) and Asian American voters (3.8 percent) coming out in support of Obama, a clear message was sent to reform opposition: Get on board, or get left behind.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

 

Comment » | Immigration reform

Senate Passes Comprehensive Immigration Reform; House Committees Deliberate on Piecemeal Legislation

August 3rd, 2013

On June 27, the Senate took a momentous step forward with a vote of 68-32 in favor of final passage of S. 744, the “Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act.” The bill represents the most sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration and border control laws in nearly 30 years, and moves the U.S. one step closer to its enactment.

The most publicized provisions of the legislation focus on legalization — and a path of citizenship for the 11 million undocumented individuals living and residing in the United States — as well as increased border security and enforcement.  There are, however, many fundamental and significant changes to the current system that will, if the bill is ultimately enacted, affect the future flow of immigrants as well as those currently in the United States in status. Some of the most significant changes were detailed in our update in June.

Now, all eyes are on the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Over the last several weeks, much speculation about the prospects of success for comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) has focused on GOP leaders who face a series of difficult policy and political dilemmas.  For starters, CIR is popular with Hispanics (whose support is critical to win the White House in 2016) but not with the GOP’s base. Its approach thus far has been to deliberate on a series of piecemeal immigration reform measures, eschewing the comprehensive approach adopted by the Senate and favored by the Administration.

Those House committees that have jurisdiction over immigration already have passed several bills. These include: (1) the Agricultural Guestworker Act; (2) the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act; (3) the Legal Workforce Act (mandatory E-Verify); (4) the Supplying Knowledge Based Immigrants and Lifting Levels of STEM Visas (SKILLS) Act; and (5) the Border Security Results Act. Hearings have also taken place on the DREAM Act. A key reform element missing in the House is provision for other undocumented immigrants.

The full House must still vote on these proposals, and whatever is finally enacted in the House must be reconciled with what was passed in the Senate. Reconciliation — even of key issues and provisions including legalization — can and is likely to take place during joint House-Senate conference committee negotiations.  Clearly, advocates for CIR have stressed that all key elements of reform must be covered in the final iteration of the bill.

With Congress adjourning for the summer in early August and not returning until after Labor Day, it is clear that the debate and discussion over comprehensive immigration reform will continue well into the fall. At this point, it seems that the earliest we can expect final legislation for the President’s signature is November or December.

Comment » | Immigration reform

Immigrants: An Asset to Our Country

July 12th, 2013

While there is much debate about how to best deal with America’s immigration issue, a few of the financial questions surrounding the topic have seemingly been answered. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the current Senate immigration bill would reduce the federal budget deficits by $175 billion over the next 10 years and by $700 billion over the following decade.

This news effectively voids the idea that the government will pay too much to provide services for immigrants. The bill, which would increase federal spending by about $262 billion between 2014 and 2023, would give legal status to millions of illegal immigrants, ease the path for more guest workers and ramp up immigration law enforcement. But the government’s increase in spending would be offset by a sharp increase in revenue. The bill would raise $459 billion in new revenue over a decade as the labor force expands, and the government collects more in income and payroll taxes, the CBO projected.

Despite the hyperbole of some, projections like these from the CBO reinforce the idea that a diverse America is a strong America. In order for the nation to fully return from the brink and continue to recover, we must embrace this new wave of immigrants. As they help to lead in innovation, research and development in a number of critical industries, immigrants will, inevitably, help restore our country.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

 

Comment » | Immigration Policy Center

Highly Skilled Immigrants: The Spark Our Economy Needs

June 9th, 2013

If you pay attention to certain talking heads in the media, you may be inclined to believe that the higher the immigration rate, the harder it’ll be for workers already in the U.S. searching for employment to find a job. This notion couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, studies show that high-skilled immigrant workers actually create new jobs — particularly in the technology and engineering fields — for everyone.

According to a 2012 joint report from the Information Technology Industry Council, the Partnership for a New American Economy, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, every foreign-born student who graduates from college in the U.S. and goes on to work in the STEM fields creates, on average, 2.62 jobs for American workers — primarily because they help lead in innovation, research and development. Additionally, the Institute for the Study of Labor finds that highly skilled immigrants actually improve the wages of native-born workers who hold at least a bachelor’s degree.

Findings like these from credible bodies such as these make one thing very clear: In order for the U.S. to continue to grow its economy, it must build the best possible high-skilled workforce. And to build the best possible workforce, the U.S. must be willing to reform immigration law. Arbitrary decision-making by federal agencies has made immigration law unnecessarily complex. Many companies that recognize the need to diversify their teams with eager, smart talent are confused about how to legally open their doors to immigrants. And that’s where we can offer assistance.

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Immigration reform

Debunked: 6 Myths About US-Mexico Border Enforcement

May 10th, 2013

Today, there are more agents along the 1,954 mile-long border that separates the United States and Mexico than ever before. According to a report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI), “Immigration Enforcement in the United States,” the amount of money the US Government spends on immigration has increased significantly in recent years — $18 billion last fiscal year alone. Currently, immigration is now the government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority.

With all of the political attention border enforcement receives, it’s no surprise that there have been a few myths that relentlessly permeate the discussion. Here, we debunk the myths and lay out the facts.

Myth #1: The US-Mexico border is violent.

While some areas of the border are dangerous, the US side is relatively safe. Two of America’s safest cities — El Paso, TX and San Diego, CA — are actually along the border. And although certain TV talking heads and  politicians claim the border is ripe with crime, the number of border apprehensions has decreased dramatically in recent years.

Myth #2: The border is a terrorist hub.   

According to the US State Department’s Country Reports on Terrorism, “No known international terrorist organization had an operational presence in Mexico, and no terrorist group targeted US citizens in or from Mexican territory.”

Myth #3: The border is insecure.

With more than 20,000 Border Patrol agents assigned to protect the border and apprehensions at a 40-year low, it’s safe to say the border is  more secure now that it has ever been in recent memory.

Myth #4: Illegal immigration is on the rise.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, illegal immigration from Mexico has fallen to net zero or less.

Myth #5: There aren’t enough resources allocated to protect the  border.

The $18 billion that the US government spent on immigration enforcement in fiscal year 2012 is more than the amount spent on all other major federal criminal law enforcement agencies combined.

For more of the latest news that meets at the intersection of immigration and business, peruse our other blog posts.

SOURCES

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/07/ann-coulter-immigrants-want-to-live-here-illegally_n_2828772.html#slide=2151709

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/01/world/americas/border-graphic.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/jan-brewer-border-enforcement_n_2677777.html

Zulkie Partners is nationally recognized for its command of immigration law. We offer services that cover all aspects of corporate immigration law, including nonimmigrant work visas, permanent residence sponsorship and more.

Connect with us today to learn how we can help you further your hiring goals.

Comment » | Immigration reform

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