Monday, April 29, 2013

Current State Of CIR - Part 2

A month ago we had posted the first article on the Current State Of CIR at that time. To read that article, please click here:

A lot has changed since then. The biggest movement was that the Senator "Gang Of 8" finally released the summary of first draft on April 16 and then the complete CIR bill on April 17. As soon as the CIR bill was released, there was action from both sides - those supporting the bill and those opposing the bill (anti-immigration groups).

This bill was considered as a compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Neither side got everything that they wanted. President Barack Obama said he is going to support this bill.

Democrats (including Nancy Pelosi who is the Minority Leader in House) are also in support of the bill. Initially there was also support from many House Republicans. However the conservative Republicans have become more cautious.

House Republicans recently said they will tackle the immigration issue in bite-size pieces, shunning pressure to act quickly and rejecting the comprehensive approach embraced in the Senate and endorsed by President Barack Obama, a key committee chairman said Thursday.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Republican) declined to commit to finishing immigration legislation this year, as Obama and a bipartisan group in the Senate want to do.“It is not whether you do it fast or slow, it is that you get it right that’s most important,” Goodlatte said at a press conference to announce the way forward on immigration in the House. He said that while he hopes to produce a bill this year, “I’m going to be very cautious about setting any kind of arbitrary limits on when this has to be done.”

Many in the conservative-led House don’t have the appetite for a single, big bill on immigration, especially not one that contains a path to citizenship, still viewed by some as amnesty.  But if the Senate’s comprehensive approach faces obstacles in the House, the House’s piecemeal approach won’t fly in the Senate.

The House has always loomed as the toughest barrier to passage of immigration legislation, partly because many rank-and-file House Republicans don’t feel a political imperative to act.

On the other hand Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leah (Democrat) has already held six hearings this year on immigration reform - the latest on April 23, when Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified on the Gang of Eight bill.

The chairman has predicted that dozens of amendments could be filed before the next markup (May 9), so several subsequent markup dates have been scheduled: May 14, May 16, May 20, and any time after that may be needed.

The reason Patrick Leah is hurrying the bill is because CIR bill must pass before Congress goes into the summer recess. Senate will be in summer recess from August 5 to September 5. House will be in summer recess from August 3 to September 8. When Congress return after summer recess, the political landscape will likely change as they prepare for the 2014 elections. To win the primary in those 2014 elections, Republicans have recently shifted to far right and opposed any immigration reform.

Due to these HUGE differences in how to pass immigration bills (one comprehensive bill vs multiple small immigration bills), the Congress is again stuck as they have been since 2004. If the CIR bill does not pass BOTH the Senate and House in the next few months - then it could mean waiting for much longer time period.

Note: We have received around 300 comments in the last 3 weeks. If we missed answering your question, please feel free to post it again. 


  1. please update current visa situation for F4 ROW. Is it going to slow down more or speed up?? I have waiting for 12 years for my priority date to become current. Its really frustration.....

    1. We are waiting for updated prediction from Charles Oppenheim (visa office).


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