Comment: EB5 H2B Doctors DACA
Omnibus Appropriations Bills have frequently been Congress's favorite
vehicles for major immigration legislation in the past decade and more.
After several years of stop-gap Continuing Resolutions, Congress is finally
moving an Appropriations package - the Omnibus - and immigration reform is
in the agenda, together with hundreds of other issues. Omnibus
Appropriations bills are "must pass" legislation, the votes for the current
package are likely to be 2/3rds in favor from both parties in both Chambers
of Congress as seen in the votes for the underlying Budget bill last month
- explaining why hundreds of otherwise unrelated matters end up in the
1,500+ page instrument. Here's a rundown on where immigration stands in the
current Omnibus, voting expected in Congress as early as Sunday - EB5, H2B,
Successive revisions of EB5 reform language have been floated in recent
days, having in common the net effect of suspending the EB5 RC program for
a year - the word in the bills is "moratorium" and the timing is cumulative
over several provisions cleverly spaced out for USCIS to exercise its
unique brand of delay over. We estimate that 80% of industry participants
(developers, attorneys, everybody) would exit the EB5 field if this
language were to become law. Should this bill be enacted, the biggest
losers would be Senators Grassley and Leahy, who would be revealed as
chumps for making rural EB5 projects even more disadvantaged than they
currently are, carve outs notwithstanding - see letter from the CEO of a rural project as an example of the bill's effects (the writer has a
distinguished record as seen on his wikipedia page).
As in recent years, the H2B industry has found well placed champions in
Congress, and H2B benefits appear to be in the bill.
Perhaps the most widely supported changes to immigration law concern
Doctors, based on the numbers of co-sponsors in Congress, and the fact that
most of the changes sought are technical in nature, and will in fact help
the agencies directly involved in this area. Should Congress find it
possible to include other immigration provisions but not Physicians, the
question would be whether Congress is 100% in the pocket of Big Money, or
The biggest issue, of course, is the Dreamers, whose political skills
continue to improve, and who are following a proud American tradition in
lobbying Congress for redress. These patriotic innocents appear at the
moment the concern solely of the President himself, who has reportedly
blinked on his previous demands of the sun, moon and stars in exchange for
permitting the DACA recipients to stay and work lawfully -, Mr. Trump
reportedly wants merely three years of wall funding for three years of DACA
benefits. He is being opposed by both parties in Congress, the GOP since
they hold the Dreamers hostage over draconian cuts to legal immigration,
and the Democrats who recently tasted blood in the Pennsylvania special
election to Congress (where a House district flipped to the Dems, having
gone to Trump in 2016 by a 20% margin), and are anticipating a wave giving
them control of the House in November, leaving them with little incentive
to compromise. Of course, Mr. Trump changes his mind faster than the wind
changes direction - so we may well have millions of Dreamers pinning their
hopes on the Supremes for their American rights.
What is NOT on the agenda on immigration is also revealing of Congressional
priorities - any reining in of agencies such as USCIS and ICE who have
declared war on immigrants in the USA, and who regard these essential
Americans-to-be as threats to America. Congress appears determined to stay
in the 20th century on immigration, and will have to be dragged kicking and
screaming into the 21st Century - but that is for another day - at the
moment, the four issues above appear to be the only ones on the
Appropriations table. Stay tuned.
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Focus: Hot Off The Presses: The EB-5 Book 2016-17 Edition; Editors: Matt Gordon and Sarah A. Schroeder Shipping Now!
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