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

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


Does the new Senate Immigration Bill change investor visas? (Part 2)

Along with previous blogs regarding new investor visas, the Senate Bill creates a retirement visa for applicants who are over 55, do not work, purchase a home over $500,000, and have health insurance.

The applicant cannot work while in the United States. For Canadian Citizens, there is a retire visa that allows a person to stay in the United States for up to 240 days. We can only assume the requirement of “not working” means that the retirement visa holder cannot be on any payroll from a United States Company. We can assume that the non-immigrant retirement visa allow passive income in the United States such as stocks, bonds, and real estate investments. The US CIS will still need to clarify issues such as the length of the non-immigrant visa, what level of Health Insurance is required, and what percentage of ownership is needed in the purchase of the $500,000 home.

The bill creates a Canadian retiree tourist visa that will allow Canadians over age 55 with a residence in Canada to enter the United States for up to 240 days. This visa makes sense as Canadian Citizens over the age of 55 rarely over stay their visa in the United States. We wish that the Senate made the temporary visa a full twelve or 18 months since the Canadian Citizen would spend money in the United States while visiting. Moreover, we hope the US CIS can make this new visa easy to obtain at the border similar to the TN visa presently available for Canadian Citizens.

The Law Offices of Andrew P. Johnson is located in the Financial District of New York City and can be reached by phone at 212 693-3355 or by email at if you have any questions.



Does the new Senate Immigration Bill change investor visas? (Part 1)

The new Senate Bill does not change the present E-1 and E-2 Treaty Trader visas and there is no change to the EB-5 investor visa program. There was a proposal to increase the required investment from $500,000 to $875,000 for Regional Centers, but that proposal did not end up in the final Senate Bill 744.

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