Skip to content

with Nataliya Binshteyn

According to the White House, President Obama will unveil his plan for comprehensive immigration reform during a visit to Nevada on Tuesday, January 29. Calling reform “a top priority” of his second term, the president will call for legislation that creates a path to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States.

According to House Democratic Caucus Chair Xavier Becerra (D-California), President Obama’s recent meeting with senior members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) underscores “the great sense of urgency” around this issue, described as the president’s “top legislative priority.” The CHC’s recently released nine-point plan for comprehensive reform includes a pathway to permanent residency and eventual citizenship for undocumented immigrants, new employment visas for skilled workers, and the creation of an employment verification system for workplace compliance with immigration law. The proposal is expected to serve as a blueprint for the president’s plan, which does not appear to contain provisions for a temporary guest worker program.

According to reports, the president’s announcement will not include the bipartisan Senate working group proposals also scheduled for release next week. One of the Congressional leaders spearheading this effort, Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida), has also proposed a plan that contemplates citizenship for undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. Senator Rubio’s proposal, which deviates from the Republican party’s long-held position that offering citizenship to undocumented immigrants could amount to amnesty, includes a series of steps for obtaining legal status, such as fines, back taxes, background checks, and a lengthy probationary period. For its part, the White House stated that it sees a “new willingness” to effect bipartisan progress on comprehensive immigration reform and hopes that the “dynamic” of partisan gridlock “has changed.”

Print:
Email this postTweet this postLike this postShare this post on LinkedIn
Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.