iOS app Android app More

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors
Dinkar Jain

GET UPDATES FROM Dinkar Jain
 

Senator Schumer: Why Pork Up the Immigration Bill?

Posted: 04/22/2013 3:37 pm

It is disillusioning when senators of the stature of Mr. Charles Schumer (D-NY) resort to wrongheaded, discriminatory, and questionable policy for the sake of narrow political interests even in safe Senate seats (in this case the senator is proposing a special Ireland E-3 VISA to appease the Irish lobby in New York).

In the Gang of Eight's recent bill, S. 744 on page 734, Senator Schumer has pushed for a new category of 10,500 E-3 VISAs for citizens of Ireland. E-3 VISAs will allow Irish citizens who may have a high school degree or less to come to the U.S. and work, for their spouses and dependents to also work, and for these VISAs to be renewed indefinitely. The language from the bill is quoted here for your convenience:

... an employee and who has at least a high school education or its equivalent or has, within 5 years, at least 2 years of work experience in an occupation which requires at least 2 years of training or experience if the alien is a national of the Republic of Ireland" -- page 734 of S. 744

Currently, the E-3 visa is only available (many argue unfairly) to Australians.

Is this what we need in the U.S. at a time of excessive unemployment -- high school graduates or less from Ireland?

When American businesses are crying out for H1B VISAs (the cap this year finished within 1 week), when PhDs from around the world educated in U.S. universities are leaving due to our broken immigration system, when the fate of millions of undocumented human beings depends on the passage a life-changing legislation, when Mr. Schumer has the opportunity to leave his mark on America's immigration system and economic future -- when history and humanity are beckoning Mr. Schumer to do something that takes us all forward -- at that precise moment Mr. Schumer would like to allocate 10,500 VISAs to his chums from Ireland.

If Mr. Schumer were to look long and hard in his own conscience, he would find that he should propose this amendment instead:

  • Abolish all yearly 21,000 total E-3 VISAs for Ireland and Australia

  • Reallocate all yearly 21,000 total E-3 VISAs to employment based green cards (EB2/EB3) and Merit VISAs proposed in his bill

That makes a lot more sense for America , for American industry, and for those of us who don't like the stench of pork barrel legislation. The senators got rid of the Diversity VISA lottery in this bill for good reason. This E-3 nonsense should be tossed out of the law of the land with equal haste.

I am sorry, Mr. Schumer, but page 734 just ####ing stinks.

To give credit where due, Senator Schumer has worked hard on this legislation and this compromise would not have come about without him. His bill otherwise is not all bad. Why ruin it, Mr. Schumer? You are better than this, and you know it. Do the right thing.

For reports on Mr. Schumer and others in the Senate who have been pushing this Ireland E-3 provision for a long time, read here. (Sources 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.)

Click here to read other articles by Dinkar, and an article on the E-3 VISA issue.

 

Follow Dinkar Jain on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DinkarJain

FOLLOW POLITICS