Dueling bills

News & Views  /   /  By Staff Reporter

Senator Scott Brown.

Two bills that offer extended non-immigrant visas to the Irish are competing for support on Capitol Hill as the final days of 2011 give way to the general election year.

The bill, crafted by Senator Charles Schumer, S1983, is the measure that is attracting the support of Irish Americans organizations from the Ancient Order of Hibernians to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform.

This bill contains a waiver provision that would allow undocumented Irish apply for two-year, renewable, E-3 visas.

Crucially, Schumer chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee’s sub-committee on immigration.

According to the ILIR’s Ciaran Staunton, 53 Democratic senators are lined up to support the Schumer bill which is a Senate companion to an approved House bill, H.R. 3012, that raises the number of annual greens cards for citizens of India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.

Staunton told the Echo that the support of as many as ten Republican senators was being sought for the Schumer proposal, these being Republicans who have supported Irish visa bids in the recent past, and GOP senators in states with significant Irish American populations, they being Illinois, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts, home base for Senator Scott Brown, who is advocating for the other bill of the moment, one that he himself drew up.

In the days before Christmas, Sen. Brown stepped up his effort to secure passage of his bill, which does not offer the waiver to the undocumented Irish.

In a letter to Senator Chuck Grassley, ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brown asked that Senate Bill 2005, the Irish Immigration Recognition and Encouragement Act of 2011, be included in any negotiations to advance H.R.3012, the House Fairness for High Skilled

Immigrants Act of 2011.

“This measure is crucially important to an Irish community that maintains strong historical and cultural ties with the United States,” stated Brown.

Added Brown: “My bill would provide a legal pathway for the thousands of Irish that wish to come to this country legally. It would allocate 10,500 visas per year for Irish nationals under the E-3 visa program, which is currently only available to Australia.

“Most importantly, it does not seek to add controversial provisions that would endanger our national security or rule of law. With the bipartisan passage of H.R. 30l2 in the House of Representatives, the Senate has an opportunity to make significant strides towards fixing some of the problems in our legal immigration system.

“I strongly believe that the Irish  E-3 visa provisions must be included in these negotiations in order to correct the long standing barriers to Irish immigration to the United States and recognize the unique relationship between our countries.”

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  • Rajesh Vadde

    I just would like to point out that H.R.3012 does not increase the current number of Green Cards for any specific country. This Bill is slated to eliminate the unfair country quotas for the employment based green cards.

  • Bob

    There’s nothing unfair about the current 7% per country quota, it simply helps ensure diversity. Removing the restrictions would open the flood gates for Chinese and Indian migrants.

    The real answer here is to increase the allocated number of green cards to help reduce the waiting time.

  • xyz

    This Bill indeed increases number of EB based Green Cards for India and China… Talk about Fairness, We must ban all the 3rd Party Consulting Firms and Indian Consulting Firms which conducts nothing but Fraud and take away American Market. A 22 year old Graduate from an Unknown Engineering School Carries a 5 Year experience.. Is that a fair Statement? Everyone learns the duties on Job which can be done by Any American… The word High Skilled is a false representation when it comes to India. If those are eliminated then we can talk fairness and I bet not more than 7% will fill in India’s Backlogs.Which will make them same as ROW. There is no Infosys in Bangaldesh. Capitalizing on that, now for an EB-2 Bangladeshi if you want to increase the wait time by 5 years, that is not fair…

  • Avik Ganguly

    The bill indeed increases EB based immigration for India and China in the next few years. If we are talking fairness we must also talk about resume fraud and 3rd party consulting firms. We must eliminate them from the system. The so called “High Skilled Immigrant” is a camouflage and they are the reason why qualified people from India suffer from Backlogs. Creating a backlog for the ROW in order to facilitate faster processing is not fairness. If we are to implement further restriction(s) in H1B and resume frauds[22 year old graduate with ridiculous 5 + years of resume experience] I can tell the Backlog for Indians can be eliminated. Depriving Americans from being trained at work while an Indian is actually getting training by these consulting firms is not fair. We need more elaborate reforms to fix the immigration issue(s). Creating unnecessary delay for ROW is definitely not something one must call as Fair.

  • Roland

    The bill 3012 is a a very unfair bill for any country other than india and china. India and china has a huge monopoly when it comes to annual immigration rates. Passing this bill will set back the dates for people from other countries who have a dream of settling in US by years.

  • Harry

    It will not raise quotas but will significantly saturate the IT employment market with Indian and Chinese would be immigrants.

  • Sunny

    I agree with you Rajesh. I am not sure why will some one publish an article without checking the facts. Bill HR 3012 does not add a single more Green Card…but dont know why its so hard for people to understand..

  • Karlene

    I want to point out that Senator Grassley has thankfully put a hold on the bill and requested an amendment in the interest of U.S. workers.

    His amendment include a common sense recruiting process where companies seeking employment visas for foreign workers would have to prove non displacement of U.S. workers. Many members of congress believe this is already a requirement. It is not.

    Grassley’s amendment to HR 3012 requires The employer to pay wages above what comparable U.S. workers earn, to ensure the program is truly requiring a higher than average skilled worker.

    The amendment also disallows the employer to send the worker to a secondary work site as this encourages body shops.

    These common sense rules should have been added to the employment based visa system long ago, for the protection of the U.S. workers.

  • Sunil Parwal

    HR 3012 will not add any Green cards to the existing limit, HR 3012 will just re-allocate GCs by removing per country limit.
    It will make system Fair by implementing FIFO (First In First Out)

  • Amman Stocks

    I’m second with Rajesh Vadde. The House approved bill HR-3012 WILL NOT increase any visas rather would eliminate the per-country caps on employment-based visas, and instead create a first-come, first-served system. Green cards would be allocated in the order in which applications or petitions were filed, regardless of the nationality of the applicant.

  • Manu

    GOD BLESS TO AMERICA. I would like to request All Senators. Please support the H.R. bill 3012. Which is completely fair for High Skill Professinal. Please also support E-3 Irish Community include in this Bill. Please help all people who are part of this Great Natitons & respect to this land of Opportunity. H.R. 3012 is not increasing visa nr. but it is completely justice to all nations. Again God Bless to America

  • Bikram Shres

    Definition of Fairness is kind of tricky when it comes to H.R.3012. From perspective of people from India, HR3012 is fair but for every other country its Unfair. Should USA change immigration rules for just one country “India”? Thats an interesting question… We need more broader immigration reforms than HR3012 to build strong immigration policies.

  • Bob

    There is NOT going to be an increase in the number of green cards to any country if the HR 3012 is passed and becomes law. The number of green cards per year currently stands at 140K and will remain the same even after the bill is passed. All HR3012 does it is to redefine the queue system to First In First Out – the right way to go when it comes to allocation of green cards.

    The author needs to do some research before writing anything

  • Joseph113

    H.R.3012 is the most unfair thing to do to fix backlog caused mostly by abuse of immigration law. This bill only addresses two countries in the world as if IT were the only industry in the US and if IT knowledge were rocket science that only one or two countries in the world had access. This bill if implemented will adversely affect other countries including Mexico, Philippines and ROW. This bill will only create more side problems and inflate more the bubble already created.

  • John Woods

    “H.R. 3012, that raises the number of annual greens cards for citizens of India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.”

    This statement from the article is factually INCORRECT. H.R. 3012 does NOT increase the number of green cards… not even by one single additional green card.

  • Gumby

    This bill is a total scam. It was started by immigrationvoice.com. They lied to the congress and made them believe that it will take 70 years to indians to get a green card. Total scam. Applicants who are not from Indian or China if this bill gets approved in the senate will have to wait 3-9 more years for their green card because HR 3012 will give 90% of green card to indian and china. That doesn’t sound fair at all.

  • Erum

    It sure will increase the number of Green Card for the 4 countries mentioned above,India and China together already are getting more than 20% of green card every year where as for the rest of the world the limit is 7% so after removing the cap for the initial 3 years India and China will get more than 90% of the green cards.

  • BigSkyCountryMT

    HR 3012 is unfair bill that would benefit India only. It will get its green card at the expense of other countries. It is also detrimental to the professional diversity of USA. There would be an influx of indians to this country in the future. Applause to Sen Grassley for thinking for the American people. NO TO HR 3012!!!

  • Melissa Johnson

    Most H1b fruands are related to Indians. (Example, Tri Valley Univeristy. 95% of students are from the same region in India and they all came to USA under student visa and never attended classes. Where are they? All over United States to work illegally and look for jobs to apply for H1b. Even worse, these people would fake their education, bachelor/ master/ PhD, any skills to get the job. This is called FRAUD and stealing jobs from Americans.)

    Now these Student visa and/or Work Visa (H1b) abusers are asking for more green cards merely allocated to India and China.

    United States should never ever allow these people into the country, and now we are granting them with permanent residency?

  • Gumby

    HR 3012 is a scam orchestrated by immigrationvoice.com pure and simple. I have no problems with the Irish part but for HR 3012, pure lies from India. This bill will allocate 90% of the visas to India and China. Very unfair!!!

  • Martha

    Stop HR 3012. This bill is criminal

  • Dan Pot

    “According to the ILIR’s Ciaran Staunton, 53 Democratic senators are lined up to support the Schumer bill which is a Senate companion to an approved House bill, H.R. 3012, that raises the number of annual greens cards for citizens of India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.”

    The above quote is misleading. This bill does not increase even one green card per year. Instead, this removes the disparity in allocation of CURRENTLY EXISTING GREEN CARDS between countries. For example, let us say US has 140K Greencards per year. WIth this bill, it will be close to first come first serve if not exactly. Currently from country XYZ 10 people comes and the current law allocates 7100 to XYZ. From country ABC 10,000 comes and 3K wait in line.

  • Anonymous

    HR 3012 is a very specific bill with defined, narrow provisions. It removes the arbitrary annual per country limit of 7% from employment based green card category. It doesn’t raise the total number of visas issued annually but redefines the model of distributing these visas in a fair first-in-first-out methodology instead of home country based priority.

  • Kay Kim

    I strongly oppose H.R. 3012 which is definitely not a fair bill. It doesn’t solve any immigration problem and only helps Indians and Mexicans get more green cards in the expenses of other countries.

    Indians and Chinese already get 35% of EB green cards.

    As everyone knows, most H1b frauds are related to Indians. These H1b abusers are in the line of getting green cards and they are the main reason that Indians need to wait for green cards.

    The truth is, all Indians know some of Indians around the are here because of fake resume, and they dare not to ask these fakers out. So, the “BEST and BRIGHTEST” people say…. “Why not steal it from other people? So we can all be here and turn America into India?”

    Interesting enough, if Indians are truly “BEST and BRIGHTEST”, why don’t Indians go back to the country which has 1.4 billion BEST and BRIGHTEST people there?

    Also, India, with population of 1.4 billion, only has 7 winners of Nobel prizes. Germany, with population of 81 million, has 102 winners. What does that tell us? Bigger population doesn’t guarantee more talents.

    HR3012 is giving 85% to 90% of green cards to India and China. The rest of the world gets only 15 to 10%

    NO to HR3012. This is NOT BENEFICIAL to USA at all. This is the bill that will turn USA into another India.


  • David

    HR 3012 does not fix anything. HR 3012 gives preferred treatment to EB India and China for 3 years until FIFO kicks in. The bill applies retroactively.

    How could that be fair? EB ROW, Philippines, and Mexico have to bicker over the remaining visas for the next 3 years. There are avenues for those who do not like their Green Card wait time, e.g. porting.

    I find it atrocious for someone to come to this country and start complaining. Why does the US have to change its procedures to appease others? Furthermore, what about providing green cards to illegal Irish on top of that? Outrageous.

    I would only support a true FIFO system that starts with the following fiscal year. I do not support anything that is retroactive, hurting others and only benefitting a few select countries.

    The argument is made that HR 3012 does not affect the US economy negatively. It does: Most EB India applicants are from the technology sector. That means much more competition in the technology sector in the future. More technology “professionals” competing with US citizens for sparse jobs.

    Lastly, there is the issue of Green Card Fraud. Most Green Card Fraud stems from EB India and China. Are we supporting that too now by awarding them with green cards?

    HR 3012 is shameful to say the least.

  • john

    unfair country quotas..its fake?hr 3012 is really unfair.it will unfairly protect 90% GC for only indian IT workers.

  • Eric

    Many professionals from India and China working in US, invest their savings abroad as they are not sure if they can ever get a GreenCard in near future. Most of them don’t even buy a house in US as they are not sure about their immigration status. Anyway we are hiring them, why not use their savings to stimulate our economy by providing them permanent resident status, so that they can invest in US with confidence.

  • Rizwan

    Please sign petition against the Chinese and Indian Mafia and to Oppose HR 3012, and please spread the word around.


    Thanks and Regards,


  • IndianTechie

    Looks like people from certain countries are bitter that there is no “infosys” in their countries so they can participate in the “H1 fraud”..sour grapes.

    The Indians and Chinese who are to benefit from HR 3012 are already WORKING IN THE US for many many years. If you are an American Techie listen to this. The guy who is dependent on his employer even after 4 years in his immigration process is going to undercut you in no of hrs and pay requirements. A techie employee who will work long hours and with no risk of leaving is like honey for employees. HR 3012 balances it out and takes the sweetness out of hiring a guy who needs green card. Support HR 3012, don’t shoot urself in the foot.

  • Ram

    Rizwan, u must be kidding ! There is no indian mafia in USA…u sound like a Pakistani

  • Jenkins Obi

    Today because of per country limit ,if we have 100 glasses of water to give away we divide that by country quotas. So we have a system where many glasses are wasted while there is people waiting in line. There are people who are from India or china who have been working paying taxes since 2001 in the queue . I understand the FIFO disadvantage some countries like say Bhutan to now have a 2 year wait period instead of 2 , is that so bad.

    I do see some comments relating to fraud and other things, those are partially true, those need to be fixed but holding genuine high skilled workers hostage is not the answer. Also you by keeping these people hostage in line is tying them to these shady employers and fuelling the issue. if you free these people they wont be held hostage by these shady firms and in fact , the market forces will come into play and wages will start to increase to the fair price. Let these people free from the crutches of shady employers . Every human being deserve the pursuit of happiness.

  • Shewer

    Rizwan looks like one of those employers who wants to keep his employees hostage , pay them below market rates and deflate wages for everyone . Better let this bill pass and people under him will flee and markets would correct itself. Believe in free market.

  • raghu

    It is illegal to discriminate based on nationality, sex, age etc in employment. This bill extends the same principle to Employment based immigration.

    Nationality has no significance when an employee is hired. The best of the lot should get the position. Same should apply in EB based immigration. For years, countries like India, China have been excluded from 93% greencards issued every year. India and China contributes a vast majority of skilled immigrants. However they are denied 93% of greencards. This will make them look elsewhere to settle. This will lead to US losing on competency.

    This bill is a minor tweak to remove per country caps in EB immigration. It does not increase a single greencard.

    This bill does not favor any particular nation. It gives greencards on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    Many of the opponents of the bill are from countries who enjoyed a preferential treatment in greencards. This bill will take away that unfairness and bring all applicants to a level playing field. This is why they are upset about this bill.

    Some of them getting preferential treatment are people from countries like Pakistan, Libya, Iran etc.

  • raghu

    Hire the best for the job, wherever they are from.
    First come, first serve. Country of birth is not a factor in employment. It should not be in employment based greencards either. Go HR 3012.

  • raghu

    Many of the posters posting in this section are green card applicants whose wait time will increase slightly because of this bill. They are posting racist comments generalizing Indians to prevent the passage of this bill.
    However it is in america’s interest to provide greencards to applicants on first come first serve basis. EB immigration is not about diversity, it is about skills. Immigrants has always been a driving force for US leadership. To maintain that lead it is necessary to remove this country caps in EB immigration.

  • John Marshal

    @Rizwan – I’ve had a lot of dealings with many people in South Asia, China and the Philippines. The path to GreenCard is not only debatable in context to their work, but also to the nature of the work they provide.

    I have faced both good and bad people – however, that is a case in all cases – and should not be a case to single out a single nation – nor a reason to oppose them because they are unfairly treated because of the sheer numbers that come out.

    If Indian and chinese citizens face a huge wait time, they should not be faulted for trying to bring a balance to the system – HR 3012 is a sound bill, hopefully it should see the light of day soon

  • Rizwan

    @everyone who commented….. This bill is unfair. Period! Think about it this way. We all have our share of Pie (or Water as someone said), which is equally distributed among all everyone present. Now this one group, or a few groups, who happen to come in HUGE number got their share of pie and now are eyeing other’s pie. With Peoople still eating their share of Pie, suddenly when others come over to hog upon it, not only will I not get my share, but others in the group will also not get their share. Yes there will be some hungry people who will get it, but that is after finishing their own pie. Its not fair to get share from my pie if peoople in my group are not done eating yet.
    If you really want to make it a reality, wait for everyone in Rest of to World Category finish off their share and say starting next fiscal year or when everyone in ROW are current, bring in the law so that everyone follows the share rule. That will only be fair, because then everyone will have their share of Pie.
    Oppose HR 3012 and I pray that it NEVER see the light of the day ever or unless its fair for ROW. There is still time vote against HR 3012 http://www.petition2congress.com/5677/oppose-hr-3012-its-companions-1857/

  • Rakesh

    How is HR 3012 unfair?
    Why should a person from India wait for 10-12 years for a Green Card while rest of the world get it in 1-2 years?

    Isn’t this Racism?

    If there is Fraud happening…that is another issue. Two Wrongs cannot make it a right.

    The main reason for fraud isn’t H1B(Although I do agree about Resume Frauds)
    It is actually with L1 Visas.
    H1B consultants or Full Timers negotiate and make sure they get good rate. Also it is against the law to receive less than 50k per annum on H1B.

    This gives an American a chance to compete.

    There are people with L1 who work for minimum wage. And there is no limit for this category. No wage restrictions either.

    Thie was abused by Infosys, Cognizant etc

    Also, I am all for taking the middle layers out off commission. There have been instances where the client pays 175-200$ per hour while the consultant just gets 50.

  • Gumby

    You got it wrong. I am from Canada in the EB3 Row category and I have been waiting since 2006. My priority date is August 2006 and if HR 3012 goes through I will have to wait another 3 years. So your 1-2 years is false. Also the other part that is unfair is India already gets close to 50% of GCs. Some of you with Hr 3012 will now cut the line in front of people who have played by the rules, how fair is that?

  • John

    I support HR3012, I think it is fair bill.
    this way we can clear backlog.