AILA Public Statements, Press Releases

AILA Supports the “Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act”

4/30/20 AILA Doc. No. 20043033. Physicians & Healthcare
George Tzamaras
Belle Woods

Thursday, April 30, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) welcomes the announcement today by Senators Perdue, Durbin, Young and Coons that they will introduce bipartisan legislation which would help address the critical healthcare shortage in the United States, a weakness that has been evident during the COVID-19 national emergency.

The “Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act,” if enacted, would temporarily allow international physicians and nurses who are willing and able to fill health care staffing shortages access to unused immigrant visas and would cut their wait to permanently work in the United States down years, if not decades.

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act would be an important first step toward ensuring that our nation’s health care needs are met by qualified physicians and nurses in a timely manner, benefiting all of us.

The bill would recapture unused immigrant visas under Section 106(d) of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000 (Public Law 106– 4 313; 8 U.S.C. 1153 note) and would:

  • Authorize the recapture of 25,000 immigrant visas for professional nurses and 15,000 immigrant visas for physicians;
  • Allow these visas to be issued in order of the priority date, regardless of per-country limitations;
  • Issue visas for the immediate family members of these individuals (not counted toward the 40,000 limit);
  • Require the Departments of Homeland Security and State to more quickly process these applications/petitions;
  • Mandate that a petitioner attest that in hiring the professional nurse a U.S. worker has not or will not be displaced.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.