U.S. Immigration Policy on Permanent Admissions [Updated December 13, 2006]   [open pdf - 249KB]

From the Summary: "When President George W. Bush announced his principles for immigration reform in January 2004, he included an increase in permanent immigration as a key component. President Bush has stated that immigration reform is a top priority of his second term and has prompted a lively debate on the issue. Bills to revise permanent admissions are being introduced, but only one was enacted in the 109th Congress. A provision in P.L. [Public Law] 109-13 (H.R. 1268, the emergency FY2005 supplemental appropriation) makes up to 50,000 employment-based visas available for foreign nationals coming to work as medical professionals. The 110th Congress is expected to consider immigration reform. During the 109th Congress, the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S. 2611) would have substantially increased legal immigration and would have restructured the allocation of these visas. Title V of S. 2611 would have doubled the number of family-based and employment-based immigrants admitted over the next decade, as well as expanded the categories of immigrants who may come without numerical limits. The Senate passed S. 2611 on May 25, 2006. The major House passed immigration bill (H.R. 4437) did not revise family-based and employment based immigration. Proposals to alter permanent admissions were included in several other comprehensive immigration proposals (S. 1033/H.R. 2330, S. 1438, H.R. 3700, H.R. 3938, S. 1919). Four major principles underlie current U.S. policy on permanent immigration: the reunification of families, the admission of immigrants with needed skills, the protection of refugees, and the diversity of admissions by country of origin."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32235
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