Since 1886 to 2010, the Statue of Liberty had symbolized the aspiration of immigrants coming to the United States - first from Europe, then Asia and all over the world - to have their piece of the American dream, one that had been within reach especially when the first Black American President occupied the White House.

The flame from the torch that Lady Liberty holds became the iconic symbol of the American Dream, a beacon of hope for those are seeking opportunities for prosperity and “success, respect for individual rights, and equality.”

Is it time to let go of your dream to live in the country and instead follow the path to other shores that welcome and value your worth as an immigrant?

We at IVC certainly don't recommend so. However, we believe that you should be prepared and know what MIGHT happen with US legislature so you can plan accordingly.

We curated 12 bills that have already been read in the U.S. Congress. Based on the number, content and direction of  bills filed by the Republican-dominated Congress of President Donald J. Trump.

While most of the Duty-Dozen bills are restrictive in nature, a few are actually family-sponsored friendly and in the case of employment-based immigrants – a remarkable Trump triumph - if passed.

Here are the Trump Congress’ Duty-Dozen bills.

1. S.232 - 115th Congress (2017-2018).  This bill seeks to terminate the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

The program is administered by the USCIS for entrepreneurs and their eligible family members to apply for permanent residency if they meet capital investment and job creation requirements.  If passed in its entirety, the employment creation visas will be reallocated to other employment-based visa classifications.

Additional information:

2. H.R.1125 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) VISA Act of 2017.  This bill seeks to implement advanced analytics software and other methods for "additional background checks and other screening requirements for the approval"* of a petition or a visa application.

If passed in its' entirety this bill will, among others, allow the following:

Additional information:

3H.R.1129 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Student Visa Security Improvement Act.  This bill seeks to require the Secretary of Homeland Security (or DHS) to strengthen student visa background checks and improve the monitoring of foreign students in the United States, and for other purposes.  It also lays the groundwork for additional areas of cooperation between the Department of State (or DOS) and the DHS. 

If this bill is passed in its entirety:

Additional Information: 

4. H.R.643 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Visa Overstay Enforcement Act of 2017.  This bill seeks to penalize aliens who stay in the United States beyond the validity of their visas.   Being out of status will then be considered a criminal act.

If approved in its entirety, penalties may be waived for overstaying due to medical necessity, public safety, or national security.  Penalties will be doled out as follows:

Additional information:

5. S.180 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017.  This bill seeks to amend sections of the US Immigration and Nationality Act concerning H-1B (specialty occupation) and L-1 (intracompany transferees) nonimmigrant visa categories. 

If passed in its entirety, the bill seeks to implement the following changes among others:

Additional information:

6. H.R.178 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Religious Worker Visa Reciprocity Act of 2017. This bill seeks reciprocal immigration treatment for the United States from some countries of certain immigrant religious workers.  

Additional information:

7. S.281  - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017.  This bills seeks to eliminate numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants per country while increasing the numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants. 

If passed in its entirety, this bill seeks to remove numerical limitations per country for employment-based immigrants over a three-year peiod while increasing the number of family-based sponsored applicants and implement new protocol to prevent unused visas.  

Additional information:

8H.R.392 - 115th Congress (2017-2018) Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017. The House version would also eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, and increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants from 7 to 15 percent of worldwide total.

Additional information:

9. H.R.670 —High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017.  This is a bill similar to S.281 and H.R. 92  that seeks to revise the H-1B program including allocating 20% of the total H-1B quota as determined to Small and Start up Employers.

Additional information: 

10H.R.1149 — Nuclear Family Priority Act. This bill seeks to redefine cerain  and assignment of nonimmigrant W visas.  Reduction of worldwide family sponsorship visas.

If this bill is passed in its entirety, the parent Immediate Relative category will be removed and the number of worldwide family sponsorship visas will be reduced from 226,000 to 88,000. A new non-immigrant visa for the parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years of age will be created. This visa will be designated "W" and is valid for five years. Section 203(h), commonly known as the Child Status Protection Act, will also be amended.

Additional information:

11H.R.391 —Reform and Border Protection Act of 2017.  This bill seesk to modify the treatment of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status, and for other purposes.

Additional information:

12H.R.1178 —SAFE for America Act.  This bill intends to eliminate the diversity immigrant program and reallocate the visas to other eligible qualified visa applicants in various categories.  The diversity immigrant program is administered by the US Department of State that allocates up to 50,000 immigrant visas yearly.  These immigrants are randomly selected among countries with low immigration rates to the United States.

Additional information:


Sources

Feinstein, Dianne. "Text - S.232 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A bill to terminate the EB-5 Visa Program and to reallocate the employment creation visas to the other employment-based visa classifications.". Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

* Banks, Jim. "Text - H.R.1125 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To Amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to Provide for New Procedures Pertaining to the Processing of Petitions and Applications for Immigrant and Nonimmigrant Visas, and for Other Purposes." Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

Bilirakis, Gus. "Text - H.R.1129 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To Require the Secretary of Homeland Security to Strengthen Student Visa Background Checks and Improve the Monitoring of Foreign Students in the United States, and for other purposes." Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 2 Mar. 2017.

Barletta, Lou. "Text - H.R. 643 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To Amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to Penalize Aliens Who Overstay their Visas, and for Other Purposes."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 1 Mar. 2017.

Sen. Grassley, Chuck. "Text - S.180 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To Amend the the Immigration and Nationality Act to Revise Employer and Government Requirements Regarding Visas for Nonimmigrant Aliens Rated H-1B (Specialty Occupation) and L-1 (Intracompany Transfer to the United States from Abroad)."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 1 Mar. 2017. 

King, Steve. "Text - H.R. 178 - 115th Congress (2017-2018):  To require the country of origin of certain special immigrant religious workers to extend reciprocal immigration treatment to nationals of the United States."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 1 Mar. 2017. 

Sen. Lee, Mike. "Text - H.R. 281 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes." Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 1 Mar. 2017. 

Rep. Chaffetz, Jason. "Text - H.R. 392 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill to To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes." Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

Rep. Lofgren, Zoe. "Text - H.R. 670 - 115th Congress (2017-2018):  A Bill To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to reform the H-1B visa program, and for other purposes."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

Rep. Hice, Jody B. "Text - H.R. 1149 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to make changes related to family-sponsored immigrants and to reduce the number of such immigrants, and for other purposes."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Rep. Chaffetz, Jason. "Text - H.R. 391 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To modify the treatment of unaccompanied alien children who are in Federal custody by reason of their immigration status, and for other purposes."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Rep. Posey, Bill. "Text - H.R. 1178 - 115th Congress (2017-2018): A Bill To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the diversity immigrant program."  Congress.gov. N.p., 2017. Web. 28 Feb. 2017.

Information from many sources can get complicated. Simplify it.

Because you deserve answers from immigration professionals.

About the Author

Crispin Aranda

Crispin Aranda

Crispin R. Aranda is an established International Visa Conselor and Immigrant Advocate. He is the president of IVC and is in several migration radio programs.

About the Contributor

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer Aranda

Jennifer S. Aranda is the COO of IVC Immigrant Visa Center, Inc.


IVC and IVC staff are proud members or affiliates of

ICCRC logoIBP logoICEF logoPIER logo
MARA logoCANCHAM logoANZCHAM logoBritish Council logo
a