Immigration bill boosts green cards for foreign employees

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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The Senate’s pending immigration law overhaul includes a section effectively tripling the number of green-cards that will be given to foreign employees of U.S.-based companies, according to an anti-immigration advocate who says she has received a near-final draft of the bill.

The bill formally keeps the current annual cap of 140,000 green cards that can be awarded to company employees, but it exempts green cards awarded to several categories of employees, including company managers, said Rosemary Jenks, a lawyer and an advocate for NumbersUSA, which wishes to reduce the level of immigration into the United States.

The likely result is that companies will be able to win 350,000 green cards each year, Jenks told The Daily Caller.

That number is equivalent to all the extra jobs created by the American economy in two average months of 2012, when only 2 million jobs were created for the roughly 2.3 million additional Americans and immigrants who entered the workforce.

Jenks declined to share her excerpt of the bill, saying its release could betray her source.

The 30-page section is only a small portion of the bill, which is likely to run for hundreds of pages. The section describes the expanded program to provide green cards to company employees, and a new program that would allow temporary workers into the country permanently.

Jenks said the 30-page section of the bill has been recently written by the Senate Office of Legislative Counsel, which converts Senators’ policy language into what Jenks described as complex legalese.

“If you are are a lawyer … you can see the hidden favors under the complicated language,” she said.

The bill’s language has been developed by the “Gang of Eight” Democratic and Republican Senators. The bill’s overall push for amnesty and guest workers has the support of top Democrats, such as President Barack Obama, as well as a number of high-profile GOP politicians.

The nation’s current immigration law allocates a green card not only to each incoming employee, employee’s spouse and their young children. The new law would expand the number of employee Green Cards by exempting several categories of immigrants from the 140,000 annual cap, including the spouses and children of new green card recipients. 

The new law would also exempts certain categories of employees, including “multinational executives and managers if they been employed at least one year,” according to the text read to TheDC by Jenks.

The bill also exempts “outstanding researchers and professors,” as well as people with doctorates in the very broad section of “science, technology engineering and math.”

This “STEM” field includes physicists and chemists, engineers, biologists and computer experts.

However, many American STEM doctorate-holders are unemployed. For example, in 2011, roughly 35 percent of biological science and physical science doctorates lacked jobs as they graduated, according to the National Science Foundation.

The new bill’s 140,000 cap also excludes green cards given to people “with extraordinary ability,” which can be widely defined.

Those several extra categories will likely push the inflow of foreign employee green cards to 350,000 a year, Jenks estimated.

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