Coming To America: A Closer Look at The Proposed Immigration Reform Bill

By Henni Espinosa, ABS CBN North America Bureau

June 19, 2013

Redwood City, Calif – Data from the U.S. Labor Department show that there are 25 million foreign-born people working in America, making up 16 % of the total labor force and that number is expected to grow exponentially if the senate’s immigration reform bill passes. If signed into law, the bill will increase the number of H1-B temporary work visas for workers with college degrees or in skilled occupations from the current cap of 65,000 to 110,000 a year.

“That means more nurses will come, more accountants will come, more professionals will come,” immigration lawyer Ted Laguatan said.

Those with graduate degrees from US schools in the fields of science, technology, engineering or math can apply for permanent residency without quotas and will not even need employers to sponsor them.

The bill also aims to create a new entrepreneur’s visa for 75,000 skilled legal immigrants a year who start a business in the United States and employ Americans.

Low-skilled workers will also benefit from the proposed legislation as it creates a new program called W visa for the 200,000 low-skilled foreign workers who come to America each year.
These new proposals are answered prayers for Leo Vargas who moved to the U.S. to seek better opportunities.

“I decided to stay because it’s been said that I’d have a better future here,” he said.
Vargas is now being petitioned as a caregiver by Health Professionals. Since 1998, the firm has petitioned about 500 foreign nurses, physical therapists, home health aides and their families.

“I still believe that America is one of the greatest countries in this planet that can give jobs to professionals,” said firm owner Ray Satorre.

Leo can now legally work as a caregiver. But he has been waiting for his permanent residency visa to be approved for three years now.

The visa backlog could make him wait even longer.

If the senate version of the immigration reform bill passes, not only will the visa backlog for employment based petitions be eliminated, workers will also be better protected.

Laguatan cited that increasing the chances for immigrants to come to America to work and be protected will be life-changing for many Filipinos.

“Filipinos should really take advantage of this. It will really result in a new migration — katakot-takot, kadami-daming Pilipino ang makakakapasok na naman,” Laguatan said.

5 Comments on this post.

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  • Delia
    21 June 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

    ”This bill” is an abomination and NOT something conservatives should support in any way shape or form. You do not seem to understand the difference between illegal aliens and legal immigrants. They are two far different things. We should support a well thought out program of legal immigration, but NEVER amnesty for pushy lawbreaking line jumpers. We need to enforce our laws on the illegals.

    EVERY aspiring immigrant from all over the world who is well qualified and has not violated our laws should have preference over EVERY illegal alien who thumbed their nose at our immigration laws to come anyway.

    • jr(catholic against right wingers)
      21 June 2013 at 4:10 pm - Reply

      As far as I know, every person, I mean really EVERY PERSON, whether he be a law breaker or abiding citizen, walking on the land of the first nation and according to the US Constitution, has ALIENABLE RIGHTS!

      • Wil
        21 June 2013 at 8:41 pm - Reply

        Jr. you are correct people have the right to be treated with respect. It is not disrespectful to make people obey the law. It isn’t disrespectful to deport people back to their country of origin if they came into the country illegally. All countries have the right to enforce their sovereignty laws. When some one comes into your home uninvited, do you reward them? I bet you don’t. You can nicely tell that person to leave and if they don’t you can force ably remove them. That is the way it is with illegal aliens who enter the country uninvited.

        • jr(catholic counter capitalist)
          22 June 2013 at 1:21 pm - Reply

          first of i meant to say inalienable rights. 🙂

          @ wil…. the thing is wil, these people’s ancestors have been living here for thousands of years. the european forceably stole this land from them and slaughtered 100 million of them. now they are telling them that they are illegal to the land they once owned. the europeans came here only a few hundred years ago illegally, forced their way of life, culture, and laws, and they continue to create laws conducive to their own way of life. . it was/is invasive, domineering….. who really own this land? who are the true leeches and illegals/foreigners on this land?

          • Wil
            23 June 2013 at 6:09 pm -

            Jr. how far back do you want to go in history? Mexican are not native to north America. Mexico was founded during a tribal war. A Chief came from the South heading north and saw a snake setting on a Cactus with a snake in its mouth, in a middle of a lake; what is now known as Mexico City. Mexicans marched north and came into what is now the United States. They the Spaniards and Mexicans slew and enslaved the natives (Native-Americans) or Indians. Why do you think Geronimo and Cochise hated the Mexicans? Or you could say that this land originally belong to the Africans; since man originated in Africa, migrated through Asia minor, Asia major through Russia over the Trans-Siberian bridge, through North America through Central America and down into South America. So, like I said how far back do you want to go? You do know that Native Americans hated the Mexicans and Spaniards at the time. Right? The basic fact is a country has the right to protect its sovereignty.