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Obama to Push Immigration Bill as One Priority

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by MaxShimba, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    While acknowledging that the recession makes the political battle more difficult, President Obama plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday.

    Mr. Obama will frame the new effort — likely to rouse passions on all sides of the highly divisive issue — as “policy reform that controls immigration and makes it an orderly system,” said the official, Cecilia Muñoz, deputy assistant to the president and director of intergovernmental affairs in the White House.

    Mr. Obama plans to speak publicly about the issue in May, administration officials said, and over the summer he will convene working groups, including lawmakers from both parties and a range of immigration groups, to begin discussing possible legislation for as early as this fall.

    Some White House officials said that immigration would not take precedence over the health care and energy proposals that Mr. Obama has identified as priorities. But the timetable is consistent with pledges Mr. Obama made to Hispanic groups in last year’s campaign.

    He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office. Latino voters turned out strongly for Mr. Obama in the election.

    “He intends to start the debate this year,” Ms. Muñoz said.

    But with the economy seriously ailing, advocates on different sides of the debate said that immigration could become a polarizing issue for Mr. Obama in a year when he has many other major battles to fight.

    Opponents, mainly Republicans, say they will seek to mobilize popular outrage against any effort to legalize unauthorized immigrant workers while so many Americans are out of jobs.

    Democratic legislative aides said that opening a full-fledged debate this year on immigration, particularly with health care as a looming priority, could weigh down the president’s domestic agenda.

    Debate is still under way among administration officials about the precise timing and strategy. For example, it is unclear who will take up the Obama initiative in Congress.

    No serious legislative talks on the issue are expected until after some of Mr. Obama’s other priorities have been debated, Congressional aides said.

    Just last month, Mr. Obama openly recognized that immigration is a potential minefield.

    "I know this is an emotional issue; I know it’s a controversial issue,” he told an audience at a town meeting on March 18 in Costa Mesa, Calif. “I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."

    But, he said, immigrants who are long-time residents but lack legal status “have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows.”

    The White House is calculating that public support for fixing the immigration system, which is widely acknowledged to be broken, will outweigh opposition from voters who argue that immigrants take jobs from Americans. A groundswell among voters opposed to legal status for illegal immigrants led to the defeat in 2007 of a bipartisan immigration bill that was strongly supported by President George W. Bush.

    Administration officials said that Mr. Obama’s plan would not add new workers to the American work force, but that it would recognize millions of illegal immigrants who have already been working here. Despite the deep recession, there is no evidence of any wholesale exodus of illegal immigrant workers, independent studies of census data show.

    Opponents of legalization legislation were incredulous at the idea that Mr. Obama would take on immigration when economic pain for Americans is so widespread.

    “It just doesn’t seem rational that any political leader would say, let’s give millions of foreign workers permanent access to U.S. jobs when we have millions of Americans looking for jobs,” said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, a group that favors reduced immigration. Mr. Beck predicted that Mr. Obama would face “an explosion” if he proceeded this year.

    “It’s going to be, ‘You’re letting them keep that job, when I could have that job,’ ” he said.

    In broad outlines, officials said, the Obama administration favors legislation that would bring illegal immigrants into the legal system by recognizing that they violated the law, and imposing fines and other penalties to fit the offense. The legislation would seek to prevent future illegal immigration by strengthening border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal immigrants, while creating a national system for verifying the legal immigration status of new workers.

    But administration officials emphasized that many details remained to be debated.

    Opponents of a legalization effort said that if the Obama administration maintained the enforcement pressure initiated by Mr. Bush, the recession would force many illegal immigrants to return home. Dan Stein, the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, said it would be “politically disastrous” for Mr. Obama to begin an immigration initiative at this time.

    Anticipating opposition, Mr. Obama has sought to shift some of the political burden to advocates for immigrants, by encouraging them to build support among voters for when his proposal goes to Congress.

    That is why Representative Luis V. Gutierrez, a Democrat from Mr. Obama’s hometown, Chicago, has been on the road most weekends since last December, traveling far outside his district to meetings in Hispanic churches, hoping to generate something like a civil rights movement in favor of broad immigration legislation.

    Mr. Gutierrez was in Philadelphia on Saturday at the Iglesia Internacional, a big Hispanic evangelical church in a former warehouse, the 17th meeting in a tour that has included cities as far flung as Providence, R.I.; Atlanta; Miami; and San Francisco. Greeted with cheers and amens by a full house of about 350 people, Mr. Gutierrez, shifting fluidly between Spanish and English, called for immigration policies to preserve family unity, the strategic theme of his campaign.

    At each meeting, speakers from the community, mainly citizens, tell stories of loved ones who were deported or of delays and setbacks in the immigration system. Illegal immigrants have not been invited to speak.

    Mr. Gutierrez’s meetings have all been held in churches, both evangelical and Roman Catholic, with clergy members from various denominations, including in several places Muslim imams. At one meeting in Chicago, Cardinal Francis George, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, officiated.

    One speaker on Saturday, Jill Flores, said that her husband, Felix, an immigrant from Mexico who crossed the border illegally, had applied for legal status five years ago but had not been able to gain it even though she is an American citizen, as are their two children. Now, Ms. Flores said, she fears that her husband will have to leave for Mexico and will not be permitted to return for many years.

    In an interview, Mr. Gutierrez rejected the idea that the timing is bad for an immigration debate. “There is never a wrong time for us,” he said. “Families are being divided and destroyed, and they need help now.”

    Source-NYTimes


     
  2. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    The United States of America is not being called the No. 1 world superpower for fun. This nation knows how to get what she wants when she wants it. From placing millions of dollars bounty on the head of Saddam Hussein to offering immigrants without green cards citizenship in exchange for military service. God bless America. Effective February 23, 2009 through December 31, 2009, the U.S. government will grant 1000 non-immigrants the privilege of becoming U.S. citizens without going through the permanent resident status in the U.S. This is an expressway to the citizenship of this great country. I guess the mad rush for the few who will qualify for this program has already begun. This program was put together under President Bush and signed on November 25, 2008. It is a pilot program called “Military Accessions Vital to the National Interest” (MAVNI). This is another piecemeal approach to help qualified immigrants to become permanent residents of this country. The recruitment program is limited to the United States Army for now; the required number might increase if the Navy and the Air Force commence recruitment of their own. Anyone who qualifies will not need to apply for green card at all. Once accepted into the Army, you can apply for your U.S. passport immediately.

    There are requirements for qualification just like any other similar programs. Therefore, this program is not for all immigrants in the United States. It is a program designed to recruit healthcare professionals, particularly medical doctors and nurses and also those who are proficient in certain foreign languages. Looking at the list of qualified languages, it appears that most foreign languages are qualified. If you can speak any of these languages, you meet the first requirement; Albanian, Amharic, Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bengali, Burmese, Cambodian-Khmer, Chinese, Czech, Hausa, Hindi, Hungarian, Igbo, Indonesian, Korean, Kurdish, Lao, Malay, Malayalam, Moro, Nepalese, Persian [Dari & Farsi], Polish, Punjabi, Pushtu (a.k.a. Pashto), Russian, Sindhi, Sinhalese, Somali, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish, Turkmen, Urdu, and Yoruba. Please note that you can either qualify as a healthcare worker or a language expert not both. If you are seeking recruitment on the basis of language, you can only enlist in New York City, but if you are seeking recruitment as a healthcare professional, you could be recruited at any army recruitment center nationwide from February 23, 2009 until December 31, 2009 or whenever the numbers of available vacancies are filled. The 1000 available slots might be filled within the next few months, please act now.



    To qualify as a medical doctor, you must be licensed to practice medicine in the United States. To qualify as a nurse, you must have obtained your nursing degree in the U.S. and must also be licensed. It means that nurses who are licensed in the U.S. but who obtained their degree abroad are not qualified unless the rule is changed.

    The most difficult requirement is that you must be in a non-immigrant status and must have been in the subject status for at least two years. Let me put it clearly, not all immigrants are qualified to apply to this program. You can only apply if you hold any of these visas and you are still in any of these nonimmigrant status categories E, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, O, P, Q, R, S, T, TC, TD, TN, U, or V. Those who were granted asylum by an immigration officer or immigration Judge called asylees also qualify to apply. Those who are in refugee, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are also eligible to apply. The caveat to this rule is that such an individual must have been in the non-immigrant status for at least two years and must not have traveled outside the United States for over 90days at any given time. The greatest beneficiaries of this citizenship largesse are those on J-1 visas that require two years of foreign residency. Under this program, the two-year foreign residency requirement will be waived and the alien will be allowed to become a U.S. citizen immediately. It is important to point out that anyone with visitor’s visa B1/B2 is not qualified. Those who entered the United States under the visa waiver programs are also not qualified. Those who are currently applying for asylum before the court are not qualified. Likewise, all illegal aliens, undocumented aliens and overstayed aliens are not eligible to apply for this program. As we often ask, what is the catch? The U.S. government is not doing this because they just want you to become a U.S. citizen. This is being done to meet national interest. Anyone who enrolls into this program must sign a contractual agreement to serve in the military for certain numbers of years. If you enlist as a language specialist, you will be required to sign in for four years of active duty tour in addition to the statutory eight years military obligation which everyone who joined the U.S. military is obligated to observe. The directive gives healthcare workers a more flexible choice. They can enroll in three years of active duty service or six years in the selected Reserve Service in addition to the statutory eight years of military obligation. This article is for your information only.


     
  3. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    Written by U.S. Immigration News Saturday, 28 February 2009
    H1-B Visas Due for Release on April 1, 2009

    The yearly scramble for the H1-B visa has begun. All prospective candidates are advised to begin preparing their applications for visas now. The practice now is for the 65,000 visas to be exhausted within one day upon its release on April 1 of every year. In the last one year, there have been many futile efforts to cause Congress to increase the number of H1-B visas to at least 100,000, but because of the increase in anti-immigrant crusade engineered by right-wing extremists, no Congressman wants to be labeled pro-immigrant. It has become extremely difficult to pass any pro-immigration legislation in the last year. Now that we have President Obama at the helms of the affairs of the United States, it is hoped that things will change by 2010, but for 2009, the same rush to obtain H1-B is now on. Despite the pressure on the government by lobbyists, it appears that the number of H1-B visas will not increase this year. In order to succeed in grabbing one of the visas, you will need to be ready to file your application a day before April 1, 2009. In fact some law firms now position their courier service agents by the door of the U.S. Citizenship Services before the dawn of April 1 because the Service usually receives more than enough applications on April 1.

    Please note that not all aliens in the United States are qualified to receive H1-B visas. To be eligible, you must be in status, have an employer who is willing and ready to petition for you and you must be qualified for the position in question with at least a bachelor degree.

    The best candidates for H1-B visas are those who have optional training work permit after graduation from college, those who are new in the United States and have valid I-94 and those outside the United States who have U.S. employers willing to petition for them. According toWikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “the H-1B is a non-immigrant visa category provided for in the Immigration & Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H) that allows American companies and universities to temporarily employ foreign workers who have the equivalent to a US Bachelor's Degree. H-1B employees are employed temporarily in a job category that is considered by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services to be a "specialty occupation". A specialty occupation is one that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge along with at least a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent. For example, architecture, engineering, mathematics, physical sciences, social sciences, medicine and health, education, business specialties, accounting, law, theology, and the arts may be considered specialty occupations.Currently the number of H-1B visas issued per year is limited to 65,000 with an additional 20,000 for those with U.S. graduate degrees and no limit for universities and non-profit and government research laboratories.Under the current law, an alien can be in the H-1B status for a maximum period of six years at a time. After that time an alien must remain outside the United States for one year before another H-1B petition can be approved. Certain aliens working on the Defense Department projects may remain in the H-1B status for 10 years. In addition, certain aliens may obtain an extension of H-1B stay beyond the 6-year maximum period, when: 365 days or more have passed since the filing of any application for Labor Certification, that is required or used by the alien to obtain status as an employment-based immigrant, or 365 days or more have passed since the filing of an employment based immigrant petition.”The race is about to begin again for potential employees and employers to grasp their own share of the 65,000 H1-B visas that will be released on or about April 1, 2009. In preparation for the release of these visas, small business owners are particularly at a great disadvantage. The new style is that petitioners file and pay for premium processing. The expense for obtaining one of these visas is particularly huge. Begin your preparations now. If you are a young graduate currently using optional training (opt) employment authorization card and your employer is willing to file for you, it is time to start talking to a qualified immigration attorney in order to begin the process. You will need to obtain the prevailing wage from the Department of Labor of the State where you intend to work. Some States, especially New York will not respond to the request for prevailing wage immediately. You could apply now because the determination is usually good for 3months to one year. In your selection of an attorney, it is imperative to confirm that the attorney has successfully obtained an H1-B visa before. The reason is that there is no room for error. Some of the fees to be paid vary depending on many factors and the number of employees your employer has. If the attorney is not familiar with the process, it is very easy to make mistakes. Once your petition is rejected because of a blunder, the cap might be reached before you return the package with the correct amount or information to the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services for processing.

    Finally, it is important to point out that not all H1-B petitions are subject to the 65,000 Cap. As directed by the H-1B Visa Reform Act of 2004, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of aliens with U.S.-earned masters’ or higher degrees will be exempt from any fiscal year cap on available H-1B visas. USCIS also notes that petitions for new H-1B employment are exempt from the annual cap if the aliens will be employed at institutions of higher education or a related or affiliated nonprofit entities, or at nonprofit research organizations or governmental research organizations. Thus, petitions for these exempt H-1B categories may be filed for work dates starting in FY 2009.



     
  4. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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  5. T

    The Truth JF-Expert Member

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    And people wonder why there are tea parties all over the country. America can't sustain this level of third world immigration socially and economically. B. Hussein and the Democrats are just looking for votes because most of the immigrants will end up voting Democrat.
     
  6. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Politics is about tactics.
     
  7. K

    Kahinda JF-Expert Member

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    Politics/poli-tricks.
     
  8. Bluray

    Bluray JF-Expert Member

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    Obama atapasuka msamba kwa kutaka kupanda punda wengi kwa wakati mmoja.
     
  9. T

    The Truth JF-Expert Member

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    I agree with you and B. Hussein and other Democrat politicians will benefit greatly from mass third world immigration. However, there is a flip side to this issue, how will the average B. Hussein or Democrat voter benefit? Remember, these immigrants will come and compete for the same low wage jobs that many poor and working people currently rely on. They will compete for the same social programs, government handouts as poor and working people rely on. The high crime rates brought about by third world immigration will affect the poor too. So why would the Democrat supporters go along with this?
     
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