Thursday, December 1, 2011

House Approves Immigration Bill that Brings Latino Families Together!

SignonSanDiego reports: The House measure to expand the number of family visas for relatives of U.S. residents hoping to make the U.S. home is expected to benefit, among others, Mexicans, who often wait roughly 10 years for permission to live here. Under a measure approved by the House Tuesday, with a 389-15 vote, family-based visa limits rise from 7 percent per country to 15 percent per country, an adjustment that could slightly ease the backlog for naturalized citizens, particularly from Mexico and the Philippines, trying to bring relatives into the United States.

The majority of immigrants in the United States are admitted through family-based visas. Mexicans account for about 30 percent of the U.S. immigrant population – that includes Mexicans of all immigration status – and nearly all Mexicans who are granted U.S. permanent residency, known casually as having a "green card," are admitted into the country on family-based visas.

Almost 60 percent of Mexicans admitted into the United States were immediate relatives sponsored by U.S. citizens, about 35 percent were non-immediate relatives. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizens include a spouse, unmarried children under 21 years of age, or the parent of someone who is at least 21. Visas for these categories typically are not subject to caps.

So-called family preference immigrant visas are subject to caps, and that can affect the length of time between the day a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident submits a petition for admission to the United States, and the day that person ultimately may get admitted. These visas are subject to caps, and are the ones that would change under the House bill, which next will go to the Senate for a vote.

These visas cover such relatives as sons and daughters, over the age of 21, of U.S. citizens; spouses and minor children of legal U.S. permanent residents; and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, among others. The legislation was hailed by people on different sides of the immigration debate as a rare example of bipartisan accord on immigration, an issue that largely has been avoided during the current session of Congress because of the political sensitivities involved.

The measure also would eliminate the current law that says employment-based visas to any one country can't exceed 7 percent of the total number of such visas given out. Instead, permanent residence visas or green cards would be handled on a first-come, first-served basis.

“This will significantly shorten the wait for the people in the family queues,” said Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a national federation of small business owners working for changes in immigration laws.


Anonymous said...

Bay City TX-comment please

Vicente Duque said...

Professor Rick Su : With the successful recall of S.B. 1070’s sponsor in the state legislature and waning support for the law in Arizona, there is a good chance it will be legislatively repealed or administratively deprioritized even if the injunction is eventually lifted.

Certiorari not yet granted for this case. On December 9, the Supreme Court Justices will consider the Arizona petition during their private Conference. As soon as December 12 it will be announced whether the Court will hear the case.

The Political Events and Elections may influence the Final Outcome.

Scotus Blog
Arizona v. United States: S.B. 1070
Forum of Kali Borkoski
December 2, 2011

Some excerpts :

On the other hand, while critics of S.B. 1070 have predictably stressed the uniquely federal nature of immigration as a policy issue, they have also sought to undermine the allure of state rights from within. Indeed, opponents of S.B. 1070 have not been shy about highlighting the internal conflicts over the law inside of Arizona itself. In its initial complaint, the Department of Justice took great care to supplement the filing with affidavits from several local officials in Arizona that were critical of S.B. 1070. Since then, lawsuits and amicus briefs filed on behalf of several of Arizona’s largest cities in support of the federal government against Arizona have furthered emphasized that S.B. 1070 does not reflect a monolithic local sentiment, and that striking it down will free them from the law’s unfunded mandates. The appeal of this reframing is not necessarily as a legal challenge against state sovereignty; rather it seeks to undermine the moral standing of Arizona as a victim of federal intervention into local affairs. To be sure, the design of S.B. 1070 seems to have contributed much this unique federal-local alliance against the state; while Arizona takes credit for taking a strong stance on enforcement, S.B. 1070 pushes nearly all of the front-end screening costs down to local governments, and the back-end detention and removal costs up to the federal government.

Giving that the Supreme Court has yet agreed to hear the case against S.B. 1070, it may be too early to predict how the individual Justices will react to these competing efforts to move the conflict beyond the familiar federal power versus state rights framework. Ironically, given that they pull in opposite directions, the net effect may be in fact to steer the analysis towards a straight textual analysis of the INA after all. In any case, regardless of how (or if) the Court rule on S.B. 1070, these framing arguments will likely continue to have powerful influences in the court of public opinion. With the successful recall of S.B. 1070’s sponsor in the state legislature and waning support for the law in Arizona, there is a good chance it will be legislatively repealed or administratively deprioritized even if the injunction is eventually lifted. At the same time, sensational state efforts to regulate immigration in the past nearly all leave their most lasting marks, if any, on the political negotiations over future federal legislation. As such, irrespective of what happens to S.B. 1070 in court, its legacy will ultimately be decided not in the Supreme Court, but rather the next round of immigration reforms.

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