Immigration Legislation and Issues in the 106th Congress [Updated December 5, 2000]   [open pdf - 107KB]

"As the year-end business of the 106th Congress progresses, the top immigration issue is whether amnesty should be extended to certain aliens in the U.S., including certain Guatemalans, Hondurans, Salvadorans, Haitians, and Liberians. Consideration of this amnesty is holding up enactment of the FY2001 Commerce, Justice, State appropriations bill (H.R. 4690). The White House warns of a veto if amnesty is not provided. The amnesty favored by the Administration is derived from several broader 'Latino Fairness' proposals. The CJS bill that passed as part of H.R. 4249 includes an alternative proposal offered by Republicans. The top immigration issue before Congress had been the admission of temporary foreign professional workers, commonly known as H-1B nonimmigrants. Despite enactment of legislation in 1998 to increase the number of H-1B nonimmigrants, many in the business community urged that the ceiling be increased again. On October 3, 2000, the Senate and House passed S. 2045, the 'American Competitiveness in the Twenty-first Century Act of 2000,' which would add an additional 297,500 H-1B visas over FY2000- FY2002. S. 2045 also would eliminate the per-country ceilings for permanent employment-based admissions and would expand worker training programs in technology-related skills and educational programs in math, science, and technology. The President signed P.L. 106-313 Oct. 17. Legislation pertaining to H-2A temporary alien agricultural workers is also before Congress. A provision intended to expedite the Labor Department's processing of H-2A labor certification applications has been enacted (P.L. 106-78)."

Report Number:
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10044
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