Driven to not waste their current advantage in the House and the Senate, Republican members have introduced a flurry of new legislation poised to address key defects in immigration policy. How will this new policy tackle the challenges of our borders, and do these proposals have a chance of passing? Hypeline gives you a summary of all you need to know:

In the House:

  • H.R. 22 Smart Border Act of 2017
  • H.R. 120 To reduce the amount of foreign assistance to Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador based on the number of unaccompanied alien children who are nationals or citizens of such countries and who in the preceding fiscal year are placed in federal custody by reason of their immigration status.
  • H.R. 140 To amend section 301 of the Immigration and Nationality Act to clarify those classes of individuals born in the United States who are nationals and citizens of the United States at birth.
  • H.R. 170 To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to modify the definition of “exempt H-1B nonimmigrant.”
    • Proposed by Rep. Issa, Darrell E. [R-CA-49] on January 3rd, the Library of Congress has not yet released a further description of the bill. An exempt H-1B nonimmigrant is currently classified as a an H-1B worker who meets one of the following statutory standards:
      •  Receives $60,000 annual wages; or
      • Has attained a master’s or higher degree (or its equivalent) in a specialty related to the intended H-1B employment.
    • This bill will undoubtably tighten the perceived definition of an H-1B nonimmigrant. It has 6 cosponsors, and has received little press. The Republican Majority in the House and the Senate allows for the possibility of it becoming law.
    • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/170?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22170%22%5D%7D&r=2
  • H.R. 174 To require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take into custody certain aliens who have been charged in the United States with a crime that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, and for other purposes.
    • Proposed by Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4] on January 3rd, the Library of Congress has not yet released a further description of the bill. The bill’s title is self explanatory; the issue of undocumented immigrants not being properly deported after committing violent crimes became national news when Kathyrn Steinel of San Fransisco, California was shot and killed by Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant.
    • This bill has thirteen cosponsors, and will no doubt be pushed for passage due to President Elect’s Donald J. Trump’s campaign promises.
    • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/174?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22immigration%22%5D%7D&r=13
  • H.R. 178 To require the country of origin of certain special immigrant religious workers to extend reciprocal immigration treatment to nationals of the United States.
    • Proposed by Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]  on January 3rd, the Library of Congress has not yet released a further description of the bill. One of several bills proposed by Rep. King concerning immigration, H.R. 178 aims to demand the same immigration privileges we allow to special foreign immigrant religious workers to nationals of the United States.
    • In simpler terms, the United States would not grant special privileges unless we in turn receive the same privileges.
    • This bill has no cosponsors, and would possibly muddy relationships with foreign powers if enacted into law. It represents a tougher stance on US immigration.
    • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/178?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22immigration%22%5D%7D&r=2
  • H.R. 241 To provide for sanctions on countries that have refused or unreasonably delayed repatriation of an alien who is a national of that country, or that have an excessive repatriation failure rate, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 278 To amend the Illegal Immigration and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to complete the required 700-mile southwest border fencing by December 31, 2016, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 281 To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to simplify the petitioning procedure for H-2A workers, to expand the scope of the H-2A program, and for other purposes.
    • Proposed by Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21] on January 4th, the Library of Congress has not yet released a further description of the bill.
    • An H-2A visa allows a foreign national entry into the U.S. for temporary or seasonal agricultural work. In contrast to the introduced bills of her peers that aim to tighten the US’s grip on its southern border, Rep. Stefanik’s legislation would seek to expand opportunity for foreign workers.
    • The bill is cosponsored by Rep. Collins, Chris [R-NY-27].
    • It will be interesting to hear fellow Republican members opinions regarding this proposition, as it allows for those on the right to express a compassionate sentiment towards working migrants. Persistently, Republicans are viewed as unfair on immigration, when it is illegal immigration they wish to tackle.
    • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/281?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22immigration%22%5D%7D&r=9
  • H.R. 300 To require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take into custody certain aliens who have been charged in the United States with a crime that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, and for other purposes.
  • H.R. 361 To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase the penalties applicable to aliens who unlawfully reenter the United States after being removed.

In the Senate:

  • S.36 A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide for extensions of detention of certain aliens ordered removed, and for other purposes.
  • S.37 A bill to require U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to take into custody certain aliens who have been charged in the United States with a crime that resulted in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, and for other purposes.
  • S.45 A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to increase penalties for individuals who illegally reenter the United States after being removed and for other purposes.
  • S.51 A bill to make habitual drunk drivers inadmissible and removable and to require the detention of any alien who is unlawfully present in the United States and has been charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.
    • Proposed by Sen. Grassley, Chuck [R-IA] on January 5th, the Library of Congress has not yet released a further description of the bill.
    • Under the Obama Administration, selective enforcement of immigration policies led to the release of convicted drunk driver and illegal immigrant Esmid Valentine Pedraza, in addition to the release of illegal immigrant Jose Munoz Aguilar, who put an American citizen in a coma while drunk driving.
    • The bill has eleven cosponsors.
    • https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/51
  • S.52 A bill to make aliens associated with a criminal gang inadmissible, deportable, and ineligible for various forms of relief.

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