Today the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to pass the Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act to the Senate floor for full vote!
The bipartisan Gang of Eight compromised in a number of areas to convince conservatives to back the measure.
And Senator Orrin Hatch’s amendment, raises the minimum number of H-1Bs to 115,000 and maintains a maximum of 180,000 annually. The Hatch plan includes a strategy that American entities could sponsor skilled foreigners when jobs are not filled by citizens, but lowers visa availability when Americans apply for work.
Senator Dick Durbin, a member of the Gang of Eight, had been against Hatch’s amendment but announced that he anticipated Hatch’s support for immigration reform.
Hatch believes his amendment will help the bill pass the House.
The core reform of the Act offers aliens who are unlawfully present, with no felonies, and entry into the US before 12.31.11 to become Registered Provisional Immigrants (RPI).
This application would require a $500 fine and payment of taxes.
RPIs could get work and travel permits.
RPIs could renew, after 6 years with another $500 fine, and apply for green cards for $1000 after 10 years.
RPIs would also be able to become US citizens 3 years after green card approval.
DREAMers typically associated with the Deferred Action program would benefit greatly. They could apply for green cards after 5 years and citizenship immediately, with 2 years in the military or 2 years of college.