The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has once again reached out to Congress to advocate for CIR specifically urging action to insure that the U.S. has access to the top talent the world has to offer.
The Department of State (DOS) has released the March Visa Bulletin and the rapid forward movement has slowed. The DOS also made predictions for future months. These predictions include: further EB3 worldwide (all other countries) may not move forward and in fact, if demand materializes, actually see a retrogression; EB2 India will see no forward movement; EB3 Philippines should expect 3-6 weeks each month. Retrogression remains a serious impediment to legal immigration to the U.S. and needs a legislative solution.
On Tuesday night, President Obama gave the annual State of the Union address and immigration and CIR were not featured very prominently and that may be a good sign. If you did not catch the address, here is what President Obama said about the need for immigration reform,
“Finally, if we are serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system. Republicans and Democrats in the Senate have acted. I know that members of both parties in the House want to do the same. Independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades. And for good reason: when people come here to fulfill their dreams – to study, invent, and contribute to our culture – they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and create jobs for everyone. So let’s get immigration reform done this year.”
The lack of specifics and a seemingly deferential attitude toward allowing the legislative process to work, a stark contrast to other portions of his speech and certainly not characteristic of his Presidency, gives us hope that he believes the two sides are close and an agreement is possible. Comments made later by influential Democrat, Nancy Pelosi echo this sentiment. Although this may all be wishful thinking, in the midst of a bitterly cold winter, wishful thinking is often all we have.
Yesterday, the Washington Post issued a good summary on the prospects of immigration reform. Although the conventional wisdom is that the CIR plan passed by the Senate in June has no chance of becoming law (if it ever did), politics often yields some surprising compromises and immigration reform in a piece meal fashion remains possible, prior to 2014 elections.
The Department of State has released the December Visa Bulletin and EB2 India has retrogressed to 2004 while the world-wide EB3 category jumped to Oct 2011. The bulletin predicted no forward movement for India EB2 or EB3 in the coming months. These horrific wait times cry out for a legislative solution.
There have been a lot of updates over the past few weeks discussing the prospects of CIR being considered by the House prior to the end of this year however, the conventional wisdom is now unequivocally pointing to a death and burial of any chance at CIR passing in 2013. Politico ran a story yesterday quoting Republican leadership regarding the agenda to be taken up in the few days left and immigration reform was noticeably absent. Although there continues to be political posturing by individual politicians from both parties advocating for CIR this year, it does not appear possible. 2014 ? Not likely given that it is an election year and virtually no one believes CIR will be taken up as it creates potential political issues for both parties. A piecemeal approach remains theoretically in play, as it may allow both parties to claim some form of victory but, the obstacles remain significant . Obviously, a last minute miracle is always possible as politics, if nothing else, can be unpredictable but, this failure to pass CIR in 2013 likely means that a rationale immigration policy remains elusive. Here are links to two of our friends and colleagues giving their opinions on CIR’s prospects in 2013. Enjoy but, come back to our blog when you finish reading ! Greg Siskind and Chris Musillo on CIR.
The Department of State has released the November Visa Bulletin and the results are disappointing. India EB2 and EB3 and Philippines EB3 showed no movement. Worldwide EB3 which had moved rapidly over the summer slowed to a mere 3 months forward movement. The need for retrogression relief remains critical.