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Immigration Lawyers Attend Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Vern Buchanan; Learn House’s Perspective on Immigration Reform

Posted: July 26th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Jaensch Immigration Law Firm, National News, Sarasota Immigrants | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

On Saturday, July 20th, Congressman Vern Buchanan held a town hall meeting in Lakewood Ranch.  Jaensch Immigration Law Firm marketing coordinator, Michael Marquet, attended on behalf of the firm and several thousand of eligible local residents in order to ascertain the House of Representatives’ position on Immigration Reform.

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

After discussing the debt and deficit, issues most closely related to the Congressman’s work on the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Buchanan opened the floor to questions.  Several people spoke about the immigration reform bill the Senate passed earlier in July.  That bill, S.744, was co-drafted by Senator Marco Rubio, also of Florida.  Several attendees expressed their displeasure with S.744.

Congressman Buchanan hinted that the House might not take up the Senate’s version of immigration reform.  He spoke strongly against “amnesty” for undocumented immigrants and reiterated his dedication to security measures such as increasing border securitycreating a system for prosecuting visa overstays, and creating a mandatory, nation-wide e-verify system.

We at Jaensch Immigration Law Firm understand that there is reluctance towards creating a pathway to legalization and citizenship for people who entered the country without inspection or overstayed their visa.  At the same time, from our reading of the bill S.744, we believe there are several provisions that we think would undoubtedly benefit our economy while maintaining or strengthening our system of rule of law.  These provisions include the expansion of the number of H-1B Work Visas so corporations can recruit more of the world’s best talent to our shores, the creation of a Retiree Visa for immigrants over a certain age who invest in our economy through the purchase of a home, the Extension of Stay for Canadians who purchase property in the US, and the creation of a Start-up Visa for immigrants who have the idea and drive to start a business in the United States.

All these provisions are contained in S.744 along with a pathway to legalization and citizenship for undocumented immigrants.  At one point Mr. Marquet stood to address to Congressman to bring his attention to these economy-enhancing immigration reforms.  He urged the Congressman to consider the economic benefits of these reforms and asked the Congressman to speak clearly about whether the House would consider the Senate bill or break it up and vote on its provisions piecemeal.

Congressman Buchanan confirmed his view that the House was not going to take up the Senate Immigration Reform bill.  He mentioned a few of the immigration reform bills the House had already produced and said that more would probably appear after the August recess, in September and October.  

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

Congressman Vern Buchanan speaks with constituents about Immigration Reform

We hope that Mr. Buchanan will continue to consider the many ways that immigration reform could benefit our economy.  In Florida, from 2006-2010, there were 286,144 new immigrant business owners.  In 2010 these same business owners accounted for $13.3 billion in revenue, 23.8% of all business income in the state.  Immigrants invest, start businesses, and apply their expertise in our companies and corporations.  The legal entry of foreign persons who wish to pursue such activities should be encouraged.