Four Immigration Programs Extended to Dec. 11 by Continuing Resolution

Both houses of Congress passed – and the president signed into law – a continuing resolution (CR) yesterday which will avoid a government shutdown caused by a lack of funds, and, in the small print, will keep four specialized immigration programs alive for the duration of the CR, which will end on December 11.

The four immigration programs are extended in their current form, and will need another extension to keep them going past December 11.

The four are: E-Verify, which provides worker eligibility data for employers; the heart of EB-5, the controversial immigrant investor program; the non-ministerial religious workers program; and Conrad-30, a program that brings alien doctors to medically under-served areas of the nation. For more on these programs see this earlier posting.

In the case of EB-5 it is not the whole program that is being extended, for part of it is a permanent activity; it is a key segment of it that required reauthorization. This is the part of the program that allows regional centers to estimate the indirect creation of jobs to meet the law's requirement that ten jobs be created for each half-million-dollar investment that brings a family-sized set of green cards to alien investors.

Without this foolishly generous bit of sleight-of-hand, the EB-5 program would shrink by more than 90 percent. The expectation is that further efforts to rein in some of the problems in EB-5 will take place on the Hill in the next couple of months.

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