President Barack Obama scored a hit in the hearts of thousands of immigrants who pin their hopes on stabilizing their stay in their adopted country with a stroke of genius that also left the Republicans in a frantic mood to neutralize their “loss” in the immigration game.
President Obama’s impatience, expressed through an executive order now known popularly as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), was an initiative he resorted sans Congressional support to rewrite the nations immigration laws to help millions who are in the U.S. illegally. On June 15, 2012 he stopped the deportations of those who came to the U.S. when they were young.
Obama’s action had both sides of the fence reacting. supporters of an immigration overhaul complainedthat his initiative hasn’t gone far enough while those opposed to his move claimed he has gone too far and has accused him of “picking and choosing which laws to enforce.”
Now comes the Obama administration’s plan to allow high-tech guest workers’ spouses to hold jobs in the U.S. hailed as “a way of keeping the United States globally competitive by making it a more attractive destination for people around the world whose expertise are in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math”.
Affected under the proposal are spouses of as many as 100,000 H1-B visa holders who are highly skilled and are applying for permanent residence.
The proposal announced recently will encourage highly skilled, specially trained individuals to remain in the United States and continue to support U.S. businesses and the growth of the U.S. economy according to a statement of a Homeland Security executive.
The proposal would also address American businesses’ continuous need for skilled non-immigrant and immigrant workers and are expected would motivate people from other nations who are reluctant to come to the U.S. because of barriers faced by their spouses who are unable to work because of restrictions.
Visas for high-skilled workers (H1B) are among “the most sought-after by high-tech firms” which early this year accounted for 85,000 available visas for 2015 which has already been gobbled up just a week after being made available. The same thing also happened last year.
Critics quickly assailed the proposed change and called it “an end-run around Congress”.
The Obama administration has put in place various initiatives designed to give breaks to undocumented immigrants which had been characterized as “temporary reprieves while efforts to overhaul the U.S. immigration system remains stalled in Congress”.
Republicans are wary of the additional 100,000 new guest workers under the proposal who perceive them as competitors to unemployed Americans “on top of the existing annual supply of an estimated 700,000 guest workers and one million new permanent immigrant admissions.
Sadly, immigration reform has been relegated to the back-burner lately and triggered pro-immigration advocates to take a more aggressive stance. It is estimated has it that matter of immigration reform would not be in the congressional agenda until 2017. The Immigration Reform bill has indeed caused division and uncertainty with much of the public in a recent research showing that “they still has yet to form an opinion about the legislation”.
More than a third of the respondents to the research “do not know what to think of the legislation and do not think that it will make much difference in the economy or how the bill would affect the economy”.
The Pew Research Center findings revealed that “an even greater percentage think the bill would have no impact on the country’s safety from terrorism and don’t know how the country’s security would be affected.”