In Focus
A monthly bulletin from Immigration Solutions
May 2007
In This Issue
The SKIL Bill
High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007
"In Focus" for HR's -- How to Create Successful Employee Orientation
Join Our Mailing List!
Quick Links

Spring is upon us and like the sunny summer on the horizon, we look to the future of immigration reform with great optimism.  The introduction of the STRIVE Act, SKIL Bill, and "High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007" seek to redress some fundamental problems with immigration policy today.  Although these pieces of legislature still have a windy road to travel, it is certain that some form of immigration relief is on the way.  Although it would be unrealistic to assume that the passage of these acts will solve all immigration issues, such as outsourcing, undocumented workers, and the shortage of workers in certain capacities here in the United States, the underlying message is that the populous has been heard and answered; the demand for comprehensive immigration reform is underway.  It is essential that we, as advocates and employers, be vigilant and demand that the House and Senate continue to focus on immigration policy, and not just pass these proposed pieces of legislature and consider the issues resolved.  If there is anything that this surge in policy reform has taught us, it is that legislators must look to the future and anticipate future immigration issues in the context of a global economy before the problems become acute.

Immigration Solutions is comprised of a network of highly experienced Immigration Case Managers and Paralegals, working in association with licensed, U.S. Attorneys and Certified Specialists in the field of immigration and nationality law.  Through an affiliate office, we also provide our clients with global migration consulting services and global work permits. We have a depth of experience with complex business visas for investors, multinational managers, outstanding individuals in the areas of athletics, business, science and the arts, visa petitions on behalf of nurses and allied healthcare professionals and PERM Labor Certification.  We are set up to conveniently work on your behalf throughout the USA and abroad. 


You may contact our office to schedule a one-time free consultation with one of our attorneys at no further obligation. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions at all times.  We would be pleased to send you a copy of our brochure, our fees and respond to any other inquiry that you might have. 

Leslie Davis
Owner-Case Manager
Immigration Solutions
562.439.7306 Fax

On March 22, Reps. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the first bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill of the 110th Congress.  If enacted, the Security through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy (STRIVE) Act is being touted as one of the most complete overhauls of our nation's immigration system since 1965. Like last year's Senate-passed Bill, the STRIVE Act is an amalgam of desperately needed and problematic elements.  First and foremost, the STRIVE Act contains a Nurse Relief Act, that if passed would take nurses and physical therapists out of the employment-based immigrant visa quota system altogether through 2017 enabling the US healthcare industry at large to regulate itself naturally through supply and demand.


GO: Nurse Relief Act 2007


The Bill also includes provisions that deal mostly with the undocumented immigrant population.   Proposed remedies include "earned legalization" for workers and their spouses and minor children who have lived and worked here since June 1, 2006; the DREAM Act for individuals who arrived at least 5 years before the date of enactment of the STRIVE Act at the age of 15 or younger and have graduated from high school; or AgJOBS for certain agricultural workers.   Also, the STRIVE Act seeks to create a large new worker visa program with features intended to avoid the constant abuses inherent in past and current guest worker programs.  The STRIVE Act would also impose a mandatory electronic employment verification system for new hires that would apply to all employers and workers, and address illegal border crossings by further militarizing the border region with a smaller number of provisions intended to protect the human and civil rights of the residents of that region.  Topics that will most likely incur the most scrutiny and be subject of debate are: The conditions that must be met before earned legalization and the new worker visa program can begin; the legal reentry, or "touchback" requirement, as well as other legalization requirements.  Labor protections and the new worker visa program will also undoubtedly be subject to much criticism.



The Securing Knowledge Innovation and Leadership, or SKIL Bill, focuses on retaining foreign workers in the United States, and business facilitation through immigration reform.  At the forefront of this bill is an increase in H-1B visa and green card caps.  If passed, the annual H-1B cap would rise from 65,000 today to 115,000, with the ability to automatically increase the cap in subsequent years by 20%, or up to 180,000 if the limit was reached during the prior year.  In addition to increasing the number of H-1B visas available, the Bill would also create other exemptions from the cap.  If passed, those who earned a degree of higher learning from an institution abroad would be qualified for cap exemption, instead of only those who earned their higher degree from a college or university in the United States.  Although in theory this would create more availability to those who do not qualify for the exemption, the exemption cap is already heavily impacted.  As of April 24, 2007, 18,747 petitions for the U.S. master's degree exemption had already been received.

GO: Current Cap Count


The SKIL Bill also proposes the benefit of streamlining the adjudication process for employers.  The Bill mandates that upon its enactment, DHS would have 180 days to create a pre-certification procedure that would reduce the need for established employers to submit repetitive documentation that is used for multiple petitions.  Another provision written into the Bill would expedite the Labor Certification process, by imposing a 20-day deadline for a prevailing wage determination. If a prevailing wage determination request is made by the employer, the Department of Labor (DOL) would have 20 days to respond.  If the DOL does not respond within the allotted time, the employer's proposed wage will become the prevailing wage rate.


GO: SKIL Bill 

IN THE NEWS - High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007
In addition to the reintroduction of the SKIL Act, another new Bill, "The High-Tech Worker Relief Act," sponsored by Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., was also introduced in April into the Senate in order to address the crisis occurring with EB green cards.   Because these visas are distributed equally among all countries, with a quota set for each country, backlogs have resulted for individuals coming from high-demand countries, even when the overall cap has not been reached, and regardless of the fact that these high-demand countries are often the only source of individuals capable of filling high-skilled jobs American businesses need.  Thus, the "High Tech Worker Relief Act" proposes a temporary increase in visas.  The increase in H-1B visas would permit 115,000 visas for the 2007 fiscal year, 195,000 for the 2008 fiscal year, and 65,000 for the 2009 fiscal year and each fiscal year thereafter.  Similar to the SKIL Bill, it would also permit more highly skilled workers to come under the 20,000 cap exemption category.  Currently, the 20,000 cap exemption is only available to those with advanced degrees earned from U.S. schools.  However, this proposes that those with a master's degree or higher in the STEM category: science, technology, engineering, or math, from an institution of higher education in a foreign country, also be eligible for this exemption, so long as they have been working in a related field in the United States for 3 years prior.

GO: High-Tech Worker Relief Act of 2007

"In Focus" for HR's -- How to Create Successful Employee Orientation

A thoughtful new employee orientation program can reduce turnover and save an organization thousands of dollars.  For a new employee, orientation is imperative to reduce anxiety.  It also will help the employee develop realistic job expectations, a positive attitude and job satisfaction.  One reason people change jobs is because they never feel welcome or part of the organization they join. The most important principle to convey during an orientation is your commitment to continuous improvement and continual learning.  That way, new employees become comfortable with asking questions to obtain the information they need to learn, problem solve and make decisions.


Before revamping your current orientation or creating a new one, these are the key questions to ask:

  • What things do new employees need to know about this work environment that would make them more comfortable? 

  • What impression and impact do you want to have on a new employee's first day?

  • What key policies and procedures must employees be aware of on the first day to avoid mistakes on the second day?


  • What special things (desk, work area, equipment, and special instructions) can you provide to make new employees feel comfortable, welcome and secure?


  • What positive experience can you provide for the new employee that he/she could discuss with their family at the end of the first day of work? The experience should be something to make the new employee feel valued by the organization.

Leslie Davis
Immigration Solutions

Phone: 562.433.5676