Sep 23

The death of high-skilled worker visa reform has been greatly exaggerated

All the major news outlets are announcing the end of high-skilled worker visa reform until the after the next major election. While the bill pass through the Democrat controlled Senate, it faces stiff resistance on the Republican dominated House. There may be some cracks in the cement, though, because there is word that House Republicans are ready to compromise if necessary–they’re just not telling anyone. A story in the Washington Post reported that Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) has been talking to Hispanic leaders about the need to find a solution to the issue of undocumented immigrants.

Nevertheless, hopes are low among Democrat. Two Republicans in the Gang of Seven have dropped out, because they think that Obama’s reform is a shameless appeal to Hispanic votes. If they want reform, House Democrats will have to decide whether they should continue to support a unified reform bill, or if the bill should be broken down into its constituent parts. This could be a good way of going about it, because many immigrant issues are not particularly related. For instance, work visas are different from undocumented aliens.

None of this means the bill is dead. The field of debate will now move to the media, replete with doomsday sayers, political posturers and the rest.