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Congress returns to Washington, DC with very few days to accomplish much, and many new reasons or excuses not to “get to” Immigration Reform. Faced with immediate and pressing issues, such as a continuing resolution to prevent a government shutdown at the end of September, the sequester and debt ceiling debate and the impending Syria crisis votes, it seems quite clear that Immigration Reform will be pushed off again. As reported in early August, the U.S. House of Representatives has made some progress at the committee level on Immigration Reform, but the ability and willingness to move legislation to the floor with less than 35 days in session seems very unlikely. Can Congress address Immigration Reform in 2014? It certainly can, but whether it will, depends on the ability to do so well in advance of the 2014 election cycle. It will also be critical to overcome innate inertia and what we have referred to as the culture of “no” to make immigration reform a possibility.

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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.