Immigration and Nationality
During the year 2000, there were significant developments in immigration law and policy with respect to employment-based immigration, family visas, asylum regulations and jurisprudence, refugee admissions, Temporary Protection Status (TPS) designations, and the implementation of the United Nations Torture Convention.
The net effect of changes in employment-based immigration was a gain to both the business community and to immigrants under most categories. There was a virtual unanimous consent among lawmakers to increase the number of temporary H-1B specialty workers in the United States and to ameliorate some of the unintended consequences of previous legislation such as the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).1 To accomplish these objectives, Congress enacted two significant pieces of immigration legislation late in the year: the American Competitiveness in the Twenty-First Century Act2 (AC21) and the Legal Immigration and Family Equity Act of 2000 (LIFE Act),3 as well as subsequent LIFE Act Amendments. Together, the new laws provide for a three-year increase in the H-1B visa cap, new rules allowing for “portability” and extensions of H-1B visa status, temporary restoration of the special adjustment of status provisions of former Immigration and Nationality Act4 (INA) § 245(i), and temporary nonimmigrant status for certain alien spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents during the pendency of their green card processing.
In addition to these legislative developments, the executive branch and courts focused on an array of issues including permanent and temporary worker labor certifications, asylum claims, and implementation of the United Nations Torture Convention.
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- November 20, 2018