We have not seen a copy of the new Senate CIR deal. HLG understands that the politicians actually haven’t finished writing the bill, but have agreed on all the material terms. Once we get a copy of the bill we will publish a summary as soon as possible. There are reports that a copy may be released this weekend since the Senate is expected to start debate on the bill on Monday.

A few key points to keep in mind:

  • While this is a big step toward Comprehensive Immigration Reform, there are still many steps to take. On HLG’s May 16 posting we explained the many steps that are still necessary (full Senate passage, House passage, etc.)
  • The likely outcome is that CIR will be very positive for all healthcare professionals. The summaries that we have seen call for increased employment based immigrant visas for highly skilled immigrants in high demand occupations: that is nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, pharmacists, etc. These workers will likely have the option of a temporary visa OR a permanent residency visa.
  • Families WILL be allowed to migrate with workers. Do not worry about this. The reports that you are hearing about families being restricted are not going to be applicable to immigrants in high skill and demand occupations (such as nurses, physical therapists, etc.). The family immigration changes appear to be in two situations: (1) if you are a US Citizen you are currently allowed to sponsor foreign Adult relatives for green cards, although it can take MANY years. Apparently this sponsorship will be curtailed (this is called the end of “chain migration”); and (2) some low skill temporary workers will be unable to bring their families on these temporary visas unless they can prove medical insurance for the whole family and earn a high enough wage.

Here is a good summary from DHS.

And here are more news stories:

Houston Chronicle

CBS News

San Jose Merc News

Int’l Herald Tribune