The much-discussed bill to end per country limits on immigrant worker visas has been blocked in the senate. The bill, HR 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, was a proposed technical fix to employment and family-based immigration quotas. The bill would not add any new visas to address the quota backlogs for approved legal immigrants awaiting the availability of immigrant visas. Rather, it would change the rules distributing the current quotas of new immigrants per year. This would allow higher-skilled immigrants from India and China to wait the same length of time as higher-skilled immigrants from other countries in the world, and thereby reduce the disparity in the family-based system.
Senator Grassley, the senator responsible for placing a “hold” on HR 3012, prevented it from being presented for voting. The senator released a statement saying that his hold was motivated by concern about “future immigration flows” and that “it does nothing better to protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs” in today’s rough economy.