LATINO VOICES
04/12/2013 11:52 am ET Updated Apr 12, 2013

Immigration Bill Will Likely Focus Heavily On Work Skills

WASHINGTON — The sweeping immigration bill that a bipartisan group of senators is preparing will include a major new merit-based program for foreigners to become permanent legal residents based on their work skills, including both high-skilled and blue-collar workers, according to people familiar with a draft of the legislation.

Over time the program, just one piece of the bill, would open up many new opportunities for foreigners to settle in the United States based on their skills, a shift from the focus on family ties that is the main foundation of the current immigration system.

But the bill will also include a host of measures to eliminate, over 10 years, a backlog of 4.7 million immigrants who have applied to come here legally and have been languishing in the system, waiting for permanent resident visas known as green cards. As a result, during the next decade, millions of immigrants who have been waiting patiently for legal documents will be united with their family members here.

Read more on The New York Times

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