There are two updates regarding current legislation that would affect immigration programs. Please note, these are just bills that were introduced but not yet passed. While the content of the bills is worrisome, to say the least, there is no indication at this point that they will actually get enough votes to pass and become law.
Senator McCain’s Bill
First, Senator McCain has introduced a bill that would require the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to probe “all public records” to determine whether foreigners applying for admission would have something in their backgrounds that could make them inadmissible under the Immigration and Nationality Act. This would include all social media. The house judiciary committee has also started markup on a similar bill that would require that the agencies responsible for vetting the visa applicant check his or her employment and educational history as well as review open source information, such as social media accounts, to learn more about the person seeking to come to the U.S. according to Rep. Goodlatte.
Senator Cruz’ Bill
Second, Sen. Cruz has also introduced a bill. His would make three main changes to immigration law:
- The bill would get rid of all OPT. OPT would no longer be allowed for any student in F status
- The bill would impose a 2 year “cool-off” period on all companies that have had furloughs, lay-offs or strikes. During this two year period, the company could not use the H-1B program.
- The bill would basically create a minimum salary under the program of $110,000 (it mandates the higher of the actual wage paid over the last year or $110,000).
Again, we wish to point out that these bills have not been signed into law, nor have they even been passed by either the House or the Senate. They are just bills. However, it is clear, that Congress is intent on using the recent tragedies to try and re-write immigration law to meet their views. Hopefully cooler head will prevail and this legislation will not pass. We will certainly keep everyone updated.
Please remember, as always, this blog does not offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, consult with a lawyer instead of a blog. Thank you.