Passed legislation mandating additional reductions
One of the key aspects of the bill, backed by both labor and business, is a new “W” worker program that could expand over time based on workforce needs. 744 also addresses long-overdue shortcomings of the immigration removal, detention, and court processes, including authorizing access to counsel for certain vulnerable populations, giving immigration judges more opportunity to make case-by-case determinations on removal decisions, and streamlining the asylum program.
Although W visas are for a limited duration, workers in W status may eventually be eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence, marking the first time that such less-skilled nonimmigrant workers would be allowed to transition to permanent resident status without an employer’s sponsorship. 744 also expands permanent visas for many foreign graduates from U. universities in the sciences and related fields, increases over time the number of temporary high-skilled visas based on demand, and expands opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors to come to the U. It also increases the penalties for certain criminal activities, making it more difficult or impossible to become a legal resident due to drunk-driving convictions, gang activity, domestic violence, passport fraud, and identity theft. 744 encourages immigrant integration through more targeted programs and foundations to help legal immigrants become citizens.
744 would require that a series of enforcement measures, or “triggers,” go into effect prior to completing the legalization process.
For example, although undocumented immigrants will be allowed to register for the new Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) program almost immediately, before those in RPI status can apply to become lawful permanent residents the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must certify that the Comprehensive Southern Border Security Strategy is deployed and operational, 700 miles of fencing is complete, 38,405 border patrol agents are deployed, and the E-Verify employment verification system is in place, among other requirements.
Title IV addresses existing visa programs for nonimmigrant workers and creates a new W visa for lesser-skilled workers, along with a government office to monitor the current employment numbers in the United States and adjust visa caps accordingly (sections 4101-4913).
Title V establishes a fund designed to provide job opportunities for low-income youth (sections 5101 to 5105).
The bill was introduced in the Senate on April 16, 2013, by Senator Schumer of New York and was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Other aspects of the bill, such as changes in family and employment-based immigration categories, would go into effect gradually, giving DHS the opportunity to reduce extensive backlogs that have built up due to a lack of available visa numbers.Spending on border security will reach record levels.