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AILA Letter to Congress Regarding H-1B and Other Immigration Issues

Cite as "AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 00051604 (posted May. 16, 2000)"

May 16, 2000

Dear Member of Congress:

We are writing to urge you to support efforts that would help ensure our nation’s continued economic growth and correct for past government mistakes and misdeeds.  We urge your support for the following efforts.

  • Allow companies to use temporary foreign professional workers. The current H-1B cap is a cap on America’s economic growth. Chairman Greenspan and other independent economists support raising the cap. We urge you to support S. 2045 and H.R. 3983.

  • Correct the injustice of the 1980s. While nearly 15 years ago Congress enacted a legalization program, the INS erroneously refused to allow some qualified immigrants to adjust their status under that program. Furthermore, in 1996, Congress stripped federal courts of the ability to hear those immigrants’ cases. S. 2407 and H.R. 4172 would solve the problems created by these circumstances.  We urge you to support S. 2407 and H.R. 4172.

  • Treat immigrants of similar circumstances similarly. Refugees from certain Central American and Caribbean countries now are eligible to become permanent residents. However, current law helped some, but not others in similar circumstances.  Congress needs to act again and pass the Central American and Haitian Adjustment Act that would ensure that refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti have the same opportunity. We urge you to support S. 1592 and H.R. 2772.

  • Allow eligible people to adjust their status in the U.S., and provide millions of dollars in additional funding (about $200 million in a recent fiscal year) to reduce INS backlogs, at no cost to taxpayers. A provision of immigration law, Section 245(i), allowed people living here to pay a $1,000 fee and adjust their status. Since Section 245(i) was grandfathered in 1998, INS backlogs have skyrocketed, families have been separated, businesses have lost valuable employees, and eligible people must leave the country (often for years) in order to adjust. Support restoring Section 245(i) in the CSJ appropriations bills, and support H.R. 1841.

These bills would “keep America working”, ensure our continued economic growth and correct for past government mistakes.  We urge your strong support on these measures.

Sincerely,

Jeanne A. Butterfield
Executive Director


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