Tuesday, May 22, 2007

//Opinion// Waiting for immigration reform

Trying to get a feel of what the U.S. congress would do concerning immigration reform is as difficult as predicting the weather. Although there are signs and signals that the U.S. would finally pass a sweeping immigration law, there's no assurance that a new law will get passed or that the new law will be favorable to immigrants and workers.

Filipino nurses, trapped out by the retrogression of visas, are anxiously waiting for the outcome of these congressional debates. A new immigration act will definitely impact new nurses wishing to immigrate to the U.S.

Although several provisions of the proposed immigration bill has been leaked out, the final text of the bill has not been released. So, whether nurses will be included in the proposed "Z" visa for temporary workers is still a big question mark. The probability of that happening, however, is pretty high, considering that there are no news whatsoever hinting that a separate visa for nurses and physical therapists would be created. Of course, like I said earlier, it's difficult to predict what the final bill would look like.

The U.S. congress has only started to tackle the proposals on the floor and there's still a long way to go until we see the outcome. Everyone is hoping a new immigrant act would have been signed into law by August or at least before the end of the year. If it goes beyond that, then we might not see another similar initiative in two years.

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