President Signs FY2005 Omnibus Appropriations Bill (H.R. 4818)

The fiscal year (FY) 2005 omnibus spending package (Pub. L. No. 108-447, H.R. 4818) contains various immigration-related provisions scattered throughout its 658 pages, some of which we have already reported on (for example, the provisions affecting the L-1 and H-1B visa programs). Another little-known immigration-related provision that made it into the final version of the legislation is found at Division D, Title V, § 534(m) of the new law. That provision amends Section 586 of Pub. L. No. 106-429, which provided for the adjustment of status to that of lawful permanent resident for 5,000 eligible natives or citizens of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos who were paroled into the United States following the Vietnam War and who have remained in an indefinite immigration status ever since.

The legislative history of Section 586 contains references to Congress’s intention to consider expanding the 5,000-adjustment cap, if necessary, to accommodate otherwise eligible aliens, through future legislation. (See H.R. Conf. Rep. 106-997, at 106 (2000)). Indeed, throughout the legislative process and subsequent rulemaking process, non-governmental organizations involved with the potentially eligible groups stated that the total number of aliens who would be eligible for adjustment of status under section 586 far exceeds the 5,000 cap. The amendments to Section 586 contained in the FY 2005 spending package eliminate the cap and make several additional technical changes to the section.

A final rule establishing the eligibility requirements for adjustment of status under section 586 of Public Law 106-429 and discussing the former INS’s policy for tracking applications received over and above the (now obsolete) 5,000 cap was published at 67 Fed. Reg. 78667 (Dec. 26, 2002).

On 12/08/04, President Bush signed the $388.4 billion FY 2005 omnibus spending package comprising nine appropriations bills (PL 108-447).

The new law contains several immigration-related measures, most notably, reforms to the L-1 and H-1B visa programs. Please note that the updated section numbers are now available for the new law’s H-1B and L-1 provisions. The section-by-section summary of these provisions has also been updated to reflect these new section numbers.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 04121811.