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Author: Andrew P. Johnson

Immigration lawyer Andrew P Johnson is a prominent advocate within the immigration community and is regularly interviewed by major press organizations and invited to speak at diplomatic events regarding immigration law. The Law Offices of Andrew P Johnson represents corporations, diplomats, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, families, and individuals. Our immigration lawyers in New York City have represented and litigated thousands of cases throughout the country. Our Senior Partner, Andrew P. Johnson, was a government prosecutor until he started the immigration law firm in 1999. He has authored numerous articles on immigration and international matters which have been published by the American Bar Association and the American Immigration Lawyers Association. In 2013, Andrew P. Johnson was invited to speak to over 30 United Nation Ambassadors regarding the EB-5 visa investor program. In 2015, Mr. Johnson was invited to Washington DC to speak to over 40 United States Ambassador about the EB-5 investment program. Immigration lawyer Andrew P Johnson has been featured in the New York Times, interview by CBS, quoted by USA Today, Fox News, Washington Times, ABC, Indian Post, Associated Press, Radio Free America, Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times, along with over 50 other periodicals around the country.

The Position for both sides of immigration reform bill debate is obvious. First, the Democrats will agree to pretty much anything that will give the roughly 11 million illegal aliens a pathway for citizenship. Obviously Democrats will not pass anything that will just provide illegal aliens a type green card status because they eventually want future voters.

The Republicans are split into 3 camps. The first camp is the Moderate Republicans that will vote on pretty much anything that the Democrats propose. Senator McCain is good example of the moderate camp. The second camp is the Conservative Republicans that do not believe that people who entered illegally into the country should receive any status. The third camp is the Conservative Republicans that believe there must a Secure Border before any legalization bill is considered. The Strategy of pro-immigrant advocates should be to go after the 3rd camp of Republicans.

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H-1b strategy for the New Immigration Reform Bill

Many believe that the H-1b visas will be raised to a minimum of 115,000 visa for April 1, 2014 once the new immigration reform bill is passed. However, it is still 50/50 that the House of Representatives will pass any immigration reform bill. Moreover, even if the House and Senate passed immigration reform immediately, the H-1b increase would most likely become law at least 6 months or longer after the passing of immigration reform.

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If a version of the Immigration Senate Bills passes, it will speed up the backlog of EB-3 Employment Based Visas. Some of clients are filing the EB-3 green card application hoping they may receive a green card within four years if the new immigration law passes. The present EB-3 backlog varies based on the nationality of the EB-3 applicant. The Department of State Visa Bulletin lists the exact numbers each month The new immigration reform bill wants to change employment based green cards into a point system for permanent residency applications, so US CIS will want to speed up and clear out all permanent residency applications under the old system. This allows all EB-3 applicants from all countries and EB-2 applicants from China, India, and the Philippines to speed up their permanent residency applications if the new immigration reform bill is passed.

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This is appears to be an easy questions, but it is constant concern for many immigration advocates. The House Republican Strategy is to “slow walk” the numerous immigration bills and vote on each immigration bill after a full debate in the House of the Representatives. The Republican base is still angry about how the Health Care Bill was passed. The Republicans do not want to anger their base by being accused of rushing the immigration bill without proper debate. If the Republicans pass any immigration reform, it will be an intentionally slow process so the Republicans can claim they thoroughly vetted the Immigration Bill. A White House Official stated that they believe the Immigration Reform Vote will happen in October. Remember, the White House has no control when the House of Representatives votes on the immigration reform bill, so it is much more likely that the Vote will occur in November or December.

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Border Security and the roughly 11 million illegal aliens are the sticking point, but the majorities in both Houses agree on an Immigration Bill that will increase the H-1b visas. The Senate Bill increases H-1b’s from 65,000 to 110,000 and the Bill allows an even larger increase to 180,000 if the labor markets demand it. The Senate Bill also helps students who get master degrees in science technology, engineering and math to stay in the country longer. Unfortunately, 110,000 new H-1b visas are not enough, since last year over 120,000 H-1b applications were filed on April of 2012.

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Immigration reform is still a 50/50; the split between House Republican is getting sharper. The House Republicans a very suspicious of the Senate and House Democrats. The Democrats want any immigration bill to pass just so it can go to conference. Once in conference, the Bill can be changed to the satisfaction of the Democrats and then brought to the House Floor (if Boehner breaks the Hastert rule). At that point, a majority of Democrats in the House and minority of Republicans in House could pass the conference comprehensive immigration bill. That is why the conservative wing of the Republican Party wants Speaker Boehner to make a promise not to bring any Bill to Conference.

The editors of the National Review, the most inflectional periodical for the Republicans wrote and article titled, “No Conference.

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The Battle lines are drawn in the House of Representatives, the moderate republicans are for comprehensive immigration reform and conservatives are requiring concrete security measures to be enacted before allowing illegal aliens some type of immigration status. It appears that the moderate republicans are winning the argument in August. There appears to already be 40-50 republicans in the House willing to join the Democrats to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Top republican leaders in the House: Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan, Speaker Boehner, and House Majority Whip Cantor appear to be on board for pushing through immigration reform.

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Both House and Senate Democrats are not hiding their strategy. The Democrats are very clear in their message: No matter whats in the House Immigration Bill, the Democrats just need to get it to conference. That means that the House Version and Senate Version of the Immigration Bill will go to conference, and one “compromise immigration bill” will be created and then sent to the House and Senate to vote on the new Immigration Bill.

Even if the House Immigration Bill is unpalatable to the Senate Democrats, the Senate Democrats believe they can change it in Conference, and send it back to the House and get enough Republicans and most all House Democrats to pass the New Immigration Reform.

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Recently, there has been very little positive news by the House of Representatives regarding immigration reform for Illegal aliens. Harry Reid never even sent the Passed Immigration Senate Bill to the House of Representatives. The House was going to challenge the validity of Senate Immigration Bill because there were spending issues in the Senate Bill, and the House is required to start all spending bills. In addition, most House Republicans said the Bill was “dead on arrival.” Next, the House stated it was going to take its time with immigration and pass several Immigration Bills addressing separate issues, and a Border Security Bill will come first.

The Weekly Standard, a popular conservative Magazine that was a proponent for immigration reform wrote and article to “Kill the Bill”. Now more and more republicans are starting to believe that there is no advantage to pass immigration reform. Lamar Smith, a republican from Texas, the former House Judiciary Committee chairman wrote a devastating article of why the House should not pass immigration reform.

As stated in an earlier blog, as of right now, it does not matter what the Democrats, Senate Republicans, or President Obama believe or say about the immigration issue. The ball is clearly in the court of the Republicans in the House, and they are going home for the Summer Session and talk to their Republican Base which is outraged at the lack of Security measures in the Senate Immigration Bill. The Republicans may come back from the Summer Session less inclined to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

The Law Office of Andrew P. Johnson has submitted to Congressman a White Paper regarding Immigration Reform recommendations for Business Visas, Investor Visas, and employment based permanent residency application. The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson provides free consultations and answers immigration questions by way of phone 212 693-3355 or email apjlaw@gmail.com

Of the many small immigration bills that will be presented in the House of Representatives, one immigration bill that will help illegal aliens may have a decent chance at passing. Eric Cantor, the House Majority Whip, plans on presenting a Bill that would give “Dream Act” children a pathway to permanent residency and eventually to citizenship. Also, House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte is working with Rep. Cantor on the language of the Bill.

Eric Cantor may be able to get a majority of Republicans to support this Bill. He has stated, “Where else would these kids go? Again, they’ve been brought here as a minor in many instances having no idea what was going on, knowing no other place than America as home.” To receive benefits, the Kid’s Act Bill would probably use the cut off date of entering the country before 16 which is similar to the Dream Act which presently allows work authorization for illegal aliens who enter before the age of 16. However, the House may first pass a Border Security Bill, and the Senate may not take up any bill that is not comprehensive immigration bill. At that point, the whole process my stall and illegal aliens and Dream Act Kids may have to wait until 2014 or 2016 for any new immigration bill.

New York Immigration Lawyer Andrew P. Johnson was a former prosecutor and has exclusively practiced immigration law of over 15 years. The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson is located at 65 Broadway, 21st Floor, New York, NY 10004 phone 212 693 3355, email apjlaw@gmail.com.


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Andrew P. Johnson - Immigration Lawyer