Durbin Lee Agreement
WASHINGTON – Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judicial Immigration Subcommittee, today announced, along with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) in the Senate, their multi-party agreement to amend Lees Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. The agreement reached in December by Lee and Durbin was cancelled after Lee made further changes to the bill. On the one hand, a “Do no harm” clause was removed to protect petition applicants who have been approved from being stuck for years of waiting. Lee`s bill now also faces opposition from the American Immigration Lawyers Association to this amendment. The desperation of Jayachandran and other Indians who are 50 years behind on the green card should motivate Lee and Durbin to reach an agreement. “In December, Senator Lee and I reached agreement between the parties on a reasonable approach to helping families affected by the delay,” Durbin said in a statement. “These families are in need, and no family should be exposed. And the sooner we solve them, the better, and America will be. If Congress can come back, I hope that Senator Lee and I can move forward and offer the agreement that we have reached in the Senate. “Green cards are crucial in the lives of so many people who are here on temporary work visas.
The delay means that families risk losing their immigration status until, year after year, that they get there because of the green card delay,” Durbin said. “Our multi-party agreement would add critical safeguards that are not in the original bill for migrant workers and their families who are late. They would be able to change jobs and travel without losing immigration status. And the children of migrant workers would be protected from deportation so that they would not be deported. Senators Lee (R-UT) and Durbin (D-IL) appear to have reached an agreement to overcome Senator Durbin`s objections at p. 386. The amended language of S. 386 contains all the provisions in previous versions of the S. 386, including the removal of numerical restrictions by country, the increase in the annual country limit for family-funded immigration, the determination of non-harm for approved immigration visa petitions, the transitional period of three years 15/10/10, 4,400 additional visas for deficient occupations for 6 years and changes to the H-1B program. “Senator Lee and I have reached an agreement between the parties on what we consider to be a reasonable approach… these families who are affected by this delay are really in a situation of distress and worry that no family has to deal with. The sooner we solve them, the better,” Durbin said. “When I spoke to a lot of these families, they said, “Why don`t you sit down with Senator Lee and see if you can come to an agreement?” I did it.