Congress Toys With Another Tiny Visa Class – For Exactly 14 Hospitals

By David North on August 9, 2011

The waste of administrative resources devoted to tiny classes of migrants – which we have covered in a previous blog – may get worse in the near future.

Earlier this year I called attention to one such minuscule class, a small cluster of nonimmigrant "investors" in the Northern Mariana Islands who were simultaneously judged by USCIS to be rich enough to be investors, but poor enough to have their fees waived.

USCIS had to issue a full set of rules, publish them, and waste both executive and staff time and energy to cope with each tiny group's alleged problems, when those resources should be devoted to major issues, such as who should, and who should not, be granted admission to this country.

Well, if the House of Representatives is not over-ruled by the Senate, that same kind of low-priority activity is about to happen again, this time about a handful of alien nurses who, by law, could work for exactly 14 American hospitals. It's an immigration version of the congressional earmarks of funds that have been so appropriately criticized.

The House, according to a recent article in Immigration Daily, has passed HR 1933, that would revive the H-1C visa category for registered nurses. It would allow 300 of them to come into the U.S., each year, on three-year visas, provided they were fully qualified and would work for one of 14 hospitals in what had been determined to be "Professional Shortage Areas" 14 years ago.

If the Senate passes the bill, and the president signs it, DHS will have to go through all sorts of regulatory acts and publications, and the writing of rules and designing of forms, all to take care of these small movements of RNs.

It will be interesting to see what the Senate does; if a bill expanding immigration, even by a tad, reaches his desk, the president is sure to sign it.