The new amended bill clears the Senate Judiciary, now the bill need to be debated in the Senate. Some interesting amendments can be found here: amendments.
The provisions which most of our readers are concerned with are the H1B cap and the H4 employment. From what we understood on the amendments, it seems that the stringent rules recommended by the Gang of 8 on H1B (while increasing the cap) will be somehow removed and the H4 visa reciprocity clause will also be removed. The reciprocity clause originally placed in the Gang of 8 proposition was quite unfair because the biggest H4 population which is from India, would not have benefited from a work permit. Indeed, India does not grant work permits to those whose spouse accompany them on a work visa and as such US would not have granted H4 EAD to Indians. But with this new amendment, it seems the reciprocity clause has been removed. However, the amendment still gives ‘discretion’ to both the State Department or the Department of Homeland Security to decide if people from a certain country can benefit from the H4 EAD based on the reciprocity. We hope that the DHS and DOS will do the right thing in case the law is passed.
The Bill will be heading to the Senate and the House will probably have its own version. We now have to wait and see what is the final outcome. The article below reflects what happened:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Far-reaching legislation to grant a chance at citizenship to millions of immigrants living illegally in the United States cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on a solid bipartisan vote Tuesday night after supporters somberly sidestepped a controversy over the rights of gay spouses.
The 13-5 vote cleared the way for an epic showdown on the Senate floor on the measure, which is one of President Barack Obama’s top domestic priorities yet also gives the Republican Party a chance to recast itself as more appealing to minorities.