Skip to content

Much has been written about Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and the need to fix the serious mistakes of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. (For Greenberg Traurig’s blog commentary about recent efforts to pass comprehensive reform, please click here.) The reality is that Congress is stuck in its own political quagmire.  It is a legislative phenomenon that permeates all issues. It’s more than a “do-nothing” culture, but it is a more aggressive culture of “killing” policy initiatives.  Immigration reform is once again feeling the impact of this disappointing culture.  Attempts to pass CIR in 2006 and 2007 were victims of this culture, and current attempts seem to be falling into a similar pattern.  It is almost as if the script from the CIR debate in 2006 is being reproduced today: a strong bi-partisan Senate immigration bill is passed; then the House refuses to take up the Senate bill, and focusses on enforcement.  Breaking this culture is a topic for an entire college political science course.  Attempting to do this with immigration reform is the question leaders in the White House, Senate and most importantly the House of Representatives need to do in quick order.  House leaders need to break the inertia and the culture of “No” and get to a conference with the Senate on CIR.  This does not mean taking up the Senate bill, but does mean focusing on the dozen or so individual immigration bills that are circulating in the House.  The House needs to stake out its priorities and pave the way for a House/Senate conference this fall.   If not, the window of opportunity for immigration reform will close and will be lost for another generation.

*Laura Reiff is the co-founder and co-chair of the Essential Worker Immigration Coalition.  The Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC) is a coalition of businesses, trade associations, and other organizations from across the industry spectrum concerned with the shortage of both lesser skilled and unskilled (“essential worker”) labor.

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.