1. Pro Immigrant groups’ strategies of calling the Republican Racist do not help their cause. The Republicans have the control in the House, and their Constituency is primarily white, and surprisingly, their constituency does not like the Race Card used when they have legitimate concerns regarding Border Security. Pro immigrants groups should pushing the White House to continue building the Fence on the Southern Border based on the Law passed in 2006 The pro-immigrant groups should be trying to get the votes of Republicans who believe in Securing the Border first before looking at immigration reform. These Republicans are not against passing immigration reform; they just want a good faith effort in Securing the Southern Border.

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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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I would say the chances of the Bill passing into law before 2014 are 50/50. To show my age, I’m quoting the Music Man, “Ya got trouble in River City.” In this case, “Ya got trouble in the House of Representatives.” The House is different than the Senate and much more susceptible to public opinion.

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Unlike the new Senate Bill, this is very simple. Based on the recent Supreme Court Ruling. If a gay U.S. citizen marries their spouse in any state which allows gay marriage, the Spouse can immediately file for a Green Card.

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The language of the Bill is not completely clear, it seems to say if you travel with US CIS authorization outside the US after December 31, 2011, you should be still fall under the new immigration law, however, the question will remain: is the person in legal status at the time of traveling? which may make the immigrant ineligible unless they fell out status before April 16, 2013.

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Should I fall out of status so I can get a green card through the New Immigration Bill?

Many of our clients are wondering if they should fall out of status and become illegal, and get the benefits of the possible new law. Unfortunately, the bill has stated that you must be already out of status as of April 16, 2013 which was the day the bill was introduced. There will be some questions as to when person fell out status for Student and Business Visa, but the simple answer is that people legally in status as of April 16, 2013 should stay in legal status.

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Andrew P. Johnson - Immigration Lawyer