Immigration Legislation Clears Senate Judiciary Committee

22 May 13


Last night, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-5 to advance the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S.744), which includes a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants as well as substantial reforms to high-skilled immigration. The legislation now moves to the Senate floor, where debate is expected to begin in early June.

The legislation’s passage out of Committee was made easier after three senators reached a compromise regarding changes to high-skilled immigration. Senator Hatch (R-UT) worked with Senators Schumer (D-NY) and Durbin (D-IL) to modify several provisions that would have made those visa programs unworkable.

As passed by the Committee, the Senate legislation would raise the H-1B cap to 115,000, which could rise to 180,000 in future years. The legislation would also eliminate the green card backlog for most employment-based immigrants. However, opponents of H-1B visas were successful in including provisions that would require higher H-1B wages for entry-level workers, new recruiting obligations for employers, and new fees and attestations.

The AFL-CIO has stated that it will continue to work against H-1B and L-1 visas as the legislation moves to the Senate floor, so further changes could occur before the legislation clears the Senate. BAL is closely monitoring progress with this legislation and will provide additional updates as new information becomes available. You can also follow live updates on our BAL Government Affairs Twitter page.

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