Immigrants from across the globe head to the United States for a variety of reasons. For some, the desire to escape political unrest in their home country leads the charge, while for others, the opportunities for better employment or employment training is cause to make such a big move. Employment-based immigration has been a primary cause for immigration for quite some time, but gaining proper documentation to attain certain jobs is proving difficult to do. Current bills being floated around the House and Senate could help immigrants in Maryland and across the country gain access to the visas required to legally seek gainful employment.
A Senate immigration bill, S. 744, would allow low-skilled workers to have access to a year-round visa. While this visa comes with certain stipulations, it would still provide legal status for many of America’s undocumented workers. If passed, the first-year supply would be available to approximately 20,000 people.
Another bill being considered would combine ideas from both the House and Senate proposals regarding high-skilled workers. It would make the requirements for H-1B visas less restrictive and would provide an increase in available green cards. It is believed that these changes to employment immigration would benefit the economy as a whole in the long-run, as many foreign workers come for jobs in the fast-growing tech industry.
These ideas for reform to employment-based immigration have been around for some time and are still waiting to be moved to the House floor for approval. Though the wait for proper employment documentation can take time to acquire, immigrants in Maryland may have other legal options to gain documented legal status. While there is no fast fix to immigration issues, small changes such as these proposed to employment immigration would certainly be considered a positive step forward.
Source: Forbes, “America’s Immigration Problems Won’t Solve Themselves“, Stuart Anderson, June 12, 2014