Summary of The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 Relating to Employers

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On September 30, 2010, Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010 (CIRA). It differs somewhat from the Bill introduced by Representative Gutierrez early in 2010. While significant portions of CIRA address border enforcement and the allocation of additional assets to this effort, naming appropriations for the same, only salient areas affecting employers are reviewed for the purpose of this article.

Reevaluation of Visa Waiver Programs

Senator Feinstein’s bill “The Strengthening the Visa Waiver Program to Secure American Act” is incorporated into CIRA. This bill requires the reevaluation of all programs entitling citizens of certain countries, often business visitors, to travel temporarily to the United States without a visa. The reevaluation would include a study of the number of overstays in the US from each visa waiver country. Any country with more than 2% overstays calculated against the number of admissions in the prior fiscal year, will be temporarily suspended until the overstay rate is again below 2%. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is also required to evaluate exit data and compare it to available immigration and law enforcement databases before any new countries can be admitted as visa waiver program participants.

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