Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC - Immigration Attorneys In California And Utah
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President Bush Calls Upon Congress to Raise the H1-B Cap—Positive Changes On The Horizon.

With April 1, 2006-the date CIS begins accepting H1B application or Fiscal Year 2007-President Bush has called upon Congress to raise the H1-B cap.

In his speech before the multinational giant 3M, our President noted that there are a great number of highly educated foreign nationals that want to work in the United States but can't, only because a visa isn't available to them. Practically speaking, President Bush commented "in order for (our) job base to remain strong, in order for us to be a leader in innovation, we got to be wise about letting kids come here who've got the skill sets needed to fill the jobs that help us remain the leader in the world." We commend our President for this practical and outspoken approach towards legal immigration.

On the editorial side of things, and value judgments aside, please note that the most "positive" changes to immigration law came under the watch of President Reagan, to wit: Amnesty. Conversely, the most drastic and controversial changes to immigration law (Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996) occurred during the Clinton Administration. So when the self-described immigration advocates, be they lawyers or otherwise, are lambasting the current administration, you may wish to inquire if they have their facts correct.

The facts are as follows. Under President Reagan, millions of undocumented workers in the United States were able to perfect their legal status. Subsequently, they were able to petition their spouses and families and reassemble the family unit. While countless people were helped, the Reagan Amnesty was not about "feeling good". Rather, it was to stop U.S. employers from hiring undocumented workers/taking advantage of them and then crack down upon those who continued to employ illegals. Why? Because not only would it be against the law to employ the undocumented, but it makes it difficult if not impossible for companies that comply with the law to fairly compete. After all, it is more expensive to comply with the law. And, make no mistake, the lawyer advocates so critical of the present law/administration are the one's who made millions during the Reagan Amnesty. So, what do they really care about?

They certainly don't' care to even notice that the law has come full circle. While there is no Amnesty to speak of as of yet, the pro-employee attitude of the government (immigration or otherwise) is no different today. As I have recently written on, employers are routinely sued for violating the rights of their foreign employees as a result of not paying the H1-B prevailing wage. When employers are willing to violate the laws of the Department of Labor and commit perjury, there are normally other accompanying violations including racial discrimination and sexual harassment. The law and those that enforce it, encourage you to go after those employers. Like the Reagan Amnesty, employers will be stopped and then punished if they continue. Compliance with the law within our own borders will naturally effect border security for it will decrease the demand for illegal workers. With decreased demand, supply naturally slows.

The system was/is not perfect and problems remain today, including fraudulent applications, an "underground economy" (which will be brought to light during the next California Gubernatorial election), long wait times and terrible anxiety resulting from families being separated. With the potential participation of local law enforcement assisting the federal government in cracking down on illegal aliens convicted of crimes (see Orange County Register, Feb. 5, 2006 Who Will Police Immigration?) not to mention employees who are empowered to get their employers to do the right thing, the positive changes on the horizon will soon be upon us.

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