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Immigration Bill Opens Wider Path for Foreign Workers

Wall Street Journal (04/16/13) Sara Murray

A bipartisan plan to overhaul the immigration system is likely to be revealed this week. The plan would award visas based on skills and economic needs and put less emphasis on family connections. The legislation aims to create an avenue to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. It also would include a mandatory verification system for businesses to check employees’ legal status and, in certain instances, tighter requirements for businesses wanting to hire immigrants in the future. The cap on H-1B visas would be raised from 65,000 to 110,000 and could in some years rise to 180,000 depending on demand and economic conditions. Businesses that want to utilize the program would be required to pay much higher wages for H-1B employees than they do currently.