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This week, President Obama announced his principles for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) during a speech in Las Vegas. The outline of his plan includes four major components:

  • Continuing to strengthen border security
  • Cracking down on employers hiring undocumented workers
  • Earned citizenship for the 11 million undocumented immigrants living within our borders
  • Streamlining legal immigration

The president’s call for CIR to address the seriously broken immigration system was a long awaited reawakening of the debate that began in the late 1990s. It was a little disheartening, however, that the the president did not call for a new temporary worker program to address the real issue of why the 11 million came into the U.S. in an undocumented status. If there were a workable immigration program that allowed workers to enter the U.S. legally when there was a need for them in the U.S. workforce we wouldn’t have the current mess.

It was reassuring to hear that he plans to allow the bipartisan effort in the Senate to take the lead. It will be important to allow a Democratic and Republican process to take its course.

We look forward to working with Congress and the president to develop a real workable legal immigration system.

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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.