There’s been abundant rhetoric about the necessity for immigration reform. But according to Houston-area immigration lawyer Annie Banerjee, now may not be the time.
On June 10, 2010, the “one-party” Health Care Bill was signed into law after being passed by the Democrats. While President Obama’s determined attempt to achieve legislative success in a bipartisan manner is perhaps laudable and worthy of historic kudos, according to Annie Banerjee, a Houston-area immigration lawyer, it might have been “more strategically prudent” to concede to Republican demands.
“He refused to compromise with the Republicans, courted the Democrats, and rammed a bill down the throats of an unwilling population,” asserts Banerjee, “That is not democracy. What will happen to that Health Care Bill is that Republicans will file a court challenge to it. The conservative Supreme Court will declare it unconstitutional. In the meantime, in October the makeup of the Senate and House will change and the health care issue will die.”
Despite her misgivings regarding the fate of the health bill, Banerjee is of the opinion that immigration reform can be bipartisan.
“There were at least two bills jointly put forward by a Republican and a Democrat,” Banerjee explained, “Former President Bush wanted immigration reform as much as President Obama does. Yet the parameters are different for different parties. The Democrats want to legalize the undocumented aliens who are illegally here. They do mainly manual jobs, work hard, and are necessary for the country. However the Democrats frown upon the intellectual jobs being done by mostly Indian and Chinese professionals, who are here legally on H-1B visas, giving into protectionist labor organizations. The H-1B visas have been attacked ever since Mr. Obama took office. First there were the workplace raids, whose main purpose was to see if businesses were following the letter of the law minutely. Then came the January 08 memo, which virtually ended consulting companies (mainly IT companies) ability to hire foreign nationals on H-1B. These people are legal, have valid visas and work in professional jobs. They too are necessary for the American economy. American colleges do not generate a high volume of computer professionals necessary to keep American businesses going. The Republicans support these work visas, the Democrats don’t.”
Banerjee concludes only the obvious: That immigration reform must be comprehensive. “Just as the Health Care Bill did not include provisions to curb tort lawyers, an immigration bill which only addresses the illegal immigrants supplying manual labor and not the legal immigrants supplying intellectual labor is simply unacceptable.”
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