According to a USCIS News Release: “U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced it continues to accept H-1B nonimmigrant petitions subject to the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY 2011) cap. USCIS will monitor the number of petitions received for both the 65,000 general cap and the 20,000 U.S. masters degree or higher educational exemption.”
According to an article on thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com: “Senator Harry Reid retreated today from having the Senate move quickly on immigration law changes, saying any overhaul would have to wait.”
Opinions on how to improve immigration vary widely and it has proven in the past to be a contentious issue. The Obama administration has to decide if now is the time to move forward or whether they prefer to to wait until after the mid-term elections. The problem with waiting is that Democrats are expected to lose seats in November and may not be able to pass a bill that if it were introduced today, would stand an increased chance at passage. Although it is a hot-potato issue for Democrats, conservatives have to be cautious not to alienate Latino voters with anti-immigrant rhetoric as they have done in the past.
Everyone agrees that the current immigration system is dysfunctional however, balancing the upcoming mid-term elections, high unemployment and the desire for Latino votes makes this a very tricky political game. The administration and those working behind the scenes have to not only draft a bill but develop a strategy for selling such a bill to the voters. Anti-immigrants will not change their views and nor will pure open-border advocates. However, fair-minded, reasonable independent thinkers can be persuaded either way.