We have created this page to track latest news updates related to S. 386 / HR. 1044 also referred to as ‘‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act ’’. If you want to know the background of the S.386, HR. 1044 bills read the below articles
- What is S.386 Bill ? Complete info like Amendments, Chances
- What is HR. 1044 Bill ? Complete info – Passed in House
- Amended S. 386 / HR. 1044 Bill after Sen Lee – Sen Durbin Deal (Dec 19)
Latest News Updates, Status of S.386, HR.1044 Bills
August 5th, 2020 : Today the S386 Bill again came on to the floor the entire discussion on the bill lasted about 36 min, eventually failed to pass the Unanimous Consent(UC) due to the hold by Senator Scott from Florida. Below is the full summary and Video link to watch the entire conversation
- Senator Durbin came on the floor again to talk about the S386 bill today. He talks about all the basics and problems with green card backlog and his ask for more Green Cards with the RAISE Act. Then talks about the Senator Lee’s Bill and agreement from December, how it was modified with changes by Sen. Lee and asked for UC last month.
- Senator Durbin Proposal, Asks for UC : Senator Durbin talks about issues of not having hearing for the S386 in the immigration subcommittee and other issues of not passing the bill in proper way with hearings and debate. Now, in interest of time as the senate will go for recess, he is willing to go for some compromise and offer to address key issues with age out of children and others and below are the key points offered by Senator Durbin and he asks for UC stating the below points :
- Protect Age out children: It protects aging out of the children waiting for GC (no increase in GCs, other additional benefits). It will only allow children on someone in green card wait to be protected from deportation until they get their GC.
- Delay Distribution of GCs by One year: It will delay the changes to the GCs distribution by one year to help processing time for the people who have pending applications to get their green cards. This does not really remove the whole no harm provision, which was in the previous HR1044. You can read Durbin – Lee Amended S386 Bill summary from Dec 2019 to get an idea on the distribution of Green Cards.
- Immediate Implementation of 50-50 rule: It asks for immediate implementation of the H1B 50-50 rule, which basically tells, “If the employer has 50 or more employees, then then they cannot have over 50% of the employees on H1B or L1”. The exception to this immediate 50-50 rule implementation is to those who are already in such companies on H1B or L1 to apply for Extensions. So, this 50-50 clause only applies for New H1B hiring & for H1B transfers and not Extensions.
- Senator Lee’s Comments, Compromise by Sen. Durbin asks for UC: Senator Lee, objects the UC with above clauses outlined by Durbin and again outlines his plan and asks for UC. Later Senator Durbin acknowledges the same below and says, even though many things he asked are not there in the amendment like protecting age out kids, delays by one year, limiting H1B transfers, there are some good clauses added, so he is willing to compromise on the Amendment suggested by Senator Lee. Below is the final deal between both Senator Lee and Sen. Durbin.
- No protections for Age out of kids
- 50-50 rule will go into effect after 180 days. Also, current H1B holders can change employers (transfers). So, extensions and transfers would be allowed for existing H1B holders. It will only apply for new H1Bs coming in to the country.
- The distribution of Green Cards to be delayed by one year ( as in above) for processing pending
- Senator Rick Scott from Florida – Object UC: Senator from Florida ( Republican) object the UC asked by both and gives the below reasons
- Carve out for Language Skills People : Amendment asking for carve out for people based on their language skills stating that Florida is diverse state, etc.
- Senator Lee objects saying that Employment based GCs based on language skills for native speakers or who have got master’s degree in such language for languages like Spanish, Cantonese, etc. It does not include Hindi or Urdu.
- Senator Lee says the whole point of the bill to remove per country caps was to remove discrimination by country of origin…now this amendment will add a new clause that will re-introduce the whole point we are trying to address with the bill, so I object.
- Senator Scott again objects the original request as well and eventually Senator Lee talks about the reasons and says we are close and we will come back to pass this.
- Also, Sen. Durbin says he is disappointed that there is objection and again tells that there should be increase in green cards to solve the problem as in future someone else will ask for such changes again.
July 29th, 2020 : Immigration Voice reports that Senator Durbin is working with Senator Lee to make a deal. This is the second time they are trying to do this after Dec 2019. See below tweet. We would not be able to get any official update on this until the bill comes on to the floor.
We are aware @SenatorDurbin has restarted the negotiations on #S386. The next few days will determine whether Durbin is negotiating in good faith to help the people in the backlog or is trying to insert poison pills. We will hold his feet to the fire until a deal is completed.— Immigration Voice (@immivoice) July 29, 2020
July 27th, 2020 : There is not much activity on the Senate floor related the S386, but it became a trending topic on Twitter with close to 74K tweets ( see below). Many who support the Bill S386 are not happy with Senator Durbin as he did not keep his word with Senator Lee ( On the senate floor Sen Lee expressed the entire frustration and said why wasted his time for these many months ).
July 24, 2020 : There is no new update on the discussion between Senator Lee and Senator Durbin. There are some protests organised by immigration-voice like in below tweet.
Today protests broke out outside @SenGaryPeters’s office protesting @SenatorDurbin’s bigotry against Indian immigrants.— Immigration Voice (@immivoice) July 23, 2020
Durbin needs to be constructive by negotiating with Senator Lee, instead of shamelessly grandstanding on the Senate floor.
Sen Peters needs to denounce Durbin pic.twitter.com/m0Jl0cWCMs
July 22, 2020 : Senator Durbin came back today on the Senate floor to talk about the Children aging out situation and ask for Unanimous consent for his new 3-page bill. Below is the summary of the discussion. There was no deal at the end and UC did not pass. In short, both of the senators want to pass their bills and it is back to square one. They keep talking about previous agreement and does not go anywhere. Below is the summary of the entire conversation.
- Senator Durbin talks about all the issues with Green Card backlogs to set the stage. He talks about the issues of children aging out with the wait time.
- RELIEF Act Background: He talks about his RELIEF Act and how it will eliminate backlog in 5 years by increasing Green Cards and also protects the aging out children. He backs RELIEF act telling some history from 2013 and how he came up. He says RELIEF act comes from previous comprehensive immigration bill that was passed in senate with a vote of 68 to 32. It was done group of 8 senators. The whole reason it did not make it back then was because Republicans did not even consider it in House… He is not asking to pass this, but gives as background.
- S386 will not fix future backlog : Senator Durbin quotes from Congress Research Service saying “S386 would not reduce future backlogs”. He also talks about the previous agreement with Lee from December 2019 like 50 – 50 rule, early filing, etc.
- Senator Durbin disagrees with Lee on No Harm clause, Delay of waiting for 3 years for 50-50 rule and early filing delay.
- Senate Bill S. 4243 : Senator Durbin says he is proposing a 3 page bill that would address the aging out children, when they reach 21 and lose their spot in green card line. He says Sen. Lee bill does not address the aging out of the children. He says that this children protection bill does not increase Green cards or do anything else, it only protects the aging out children, that’s it and offers Unanimous Consent. Below is the Bill info and Official Congress.gov URL for Bill S. 4243
- Concerns with S. 4243 : Senator Lee objects the UC for the S 4243 bill saying that this bill does not address the core problem and children would still be waiting for 20 to 30 years. Talks about parent’s death and how it would not work waiting. He says backlog for Indian nationals is 195 years for EB3 category. Also, talks about issues of F1 for aging out children. He says the fair path is to pass S386 as it will address all the issues including aging out and defends his previous bill.
- Senator Durbin says Bill again talks about CRS report and how S386 does not fix the issue.
- Senator Lee talks about issue December deal and again asks for UC, again Objected by Sen. Durbin. Again, back and forth and finally Sen. Durbin says, lets pass the S4243 to protect children and then look at the other aspects.
- You can watch the entire 30 min conversation using below video link.
July 21, 2020 : Today there was heated discussion on the senate floor on the S.386 between Senator Durbin and Senator Lee. Both tried Unanimous Consent few times and objected. Nothing passed today. It is finally up for discussion again and focused on the age out situation of children as the agreement point. Below is the summary of the entire discussion today and link to Video Recording from Senate Floor.
- Senator Durbin talks about his mother’s story as immigrant, how majority of healthcare workers are immigrants and helping COVID-19 situation.
- Talks about Green Cards, backlog and how the numbers of Green Cards have not changed in many years. He also talks about aging out situation of children that is causing issues
- He again says that increasing Green Card is the solution for addressing backlogs and talks about the Congressional Report on Green Card Backlogs
- Talks about agreement between him and Lee in Dec 2019: 1. Early filing of green cards 2. Children aging out 3. Helps people stuck outside of US 4. H1B provisions. You can check Sen Lee – Durbin Deal S.386 Changes Dec 2019
- Senator Durbin talks about how TCS is exploiting H1B workers by paying much lower wages than American workers and asks the need to abuse of H1B visas.
- Senator Durbin says in March 2020, Senator Lee came back with significant changes :
- Removing of No harm clause
- Delay the 50-50 rule amendment of H1B by 3 years
- Delay the early filing of Green cards by 1 year
- Early filing can be done by individuals with approved green petition only after 2 years.
- Senator Durbin asks for Unanimous Consent(UC) to replace these new changes from March by Sen Lee with the original Amendment from December 2019.
- Senator Lee object the UC and disagrees with Senator Durbin’s comments and talks about his initiative and how he has worked through years for this bill.
- Senator Lee says that the agreement was true, but he wanted to confirm with USCIS and DHS on what was technically feasible. Based on their inputs, some of these clauses like delays to implement some things were added. After these were presented to Senator Durbin, he disagreed with the changes given by USCIS.
- Senator Lee says he does not want pass something that cannot be implemented by USCIS. he say that he is happy to discuss again, but he cannot be falsely accused of not honouring the original agreement. He said these changes are added not to burden the current H1B workers, so that companies can be compliant and happy to discuss again.
- Senator Lee asks for UC again with his recent changes and Sen. Durbin Objects again.
- Senator Durbin talks about protect children with age out provisions in exchange and asks for UC again and Sen. Lee objects saying that he has not seen the changes and it was not brought back before and do not want to pass without looking at it.
- Sen Durbin says the bill will come back after discussion to floor and hope to do something for children.
- Below is the actual clip from Senate floor today. Also, You may read Immigration Voice article on facts on the reason for Changes for S.386
- July 19th, 2020 : Immigration Voice organised many demonstrations in Chicago protesting Senator Durbin’s hold on the S386 Bill. Below is a video from the same
- July 2020 : Many events were held and there were Car Rallies, TV Channel coverage for passing S386. Some are below.
- June 2020 : Immigration Voice ran TV Ads on CNN, CNBC and other channels to promote the S386 Bill and how Senator Durbin hold is causing the issues for many. Below is the ad
- Dec 17th, 2019 : There was an agreement between Sen. Durbin & Sen. Lee and the draft of the HR.1044 / S386 Bill is out with their agreements. It is a 31 page document. Check out the Summary of the Lee Durbin Deal and S386/ HR 1044 Bill Amendments
- December 17th, 2019: There are S386 billboard trucks in New York supporting Sen. Durbin for stopping S386. It is organised by the group supporting US workers. Check below
- December 12th, 2019: It is reported by Breitbart that Senator from South Dakota, Mike Rounds would likely object the Unanimous Consent of S386 planned for the week of Dec 16th. The reason being it will impact dairy farmers to give green cards for long serving dairy workers. They have posted a letter as well that tells the concerns. We would not know until the bill comes to floor, if they really would object. You can check Breitbart Article
- November 6th, 2019 : Sen. Durbin again presented his case on Senate floor and requested for Unanimous Consent for his Bill S. 2603 RELIEF Act and was blocked by Sen from North Carolina Thom Hills suggesting to work with Sen. Lee as it has more co-sponsors and solves the immediate problem. Sen. Durbin indicates that he wants hearing and Sen. Lee does not want hearing…It is in grid lock. Sen. Durbin seems firm on his opinion of hearing of the bill as he indicates, it is the standard process….You can watch the Video of Sen. Durbin Speech, UC Request
- October 31st, 2019 : Sen. Lee spoke about S.386 / HR 1044 Bill and explained the importance to pass and he insisted that there is no need for hearings or changes to the bill. He said, he is going to work with Sen. Durbin on this. He did not ask for Unanimous consent… Check out the Video of Sen Lee’s Speech in Senate Today
- October 30th, 2019 : Two updates
- Senator Durbin asked for Unanimous Consent for S. 2603 today in Senate and was objected by Senator John Thune, on behalf of Sen. Lee. Basically, it is in a grid lock between Sen. Lee and Sen. Durbin…Not sure, if there will be a compromise soon. Watch Video of Sen. Durbin asking for UC and Blocked
- It is reported by ImmigrationVoice that Sen. Lee will bring up S.386 / HR 1044 again tomorrow for UC on the senate floor. We need to wait and see if Sen. Durbin will object again or make some compromise before that…stay tuned.
- Oct 24th, 2019 : In Senate Judiciary Committee, S 386 / HR 1044 immigration bill was brought up briefly indicating that there are concerns from Sen Durbin on the immigration bill and there could be hearing on the same in future. No actual hearing took place, it was just a mention that the Judiciary committee could take it up in future to sort our the differences. Watch Senate Video Recording at 24th Minute
- Oct 23rd, 2019 : Earlier today, there was some confusion and Charles Kuk mentioned that there will be voting tomorrow….but again later he corrected that there is no vote…ImmigrationVoice also clarified that there is no vote for S386 / HR 1044…See below for the tweets regarding the same.
- Oct 17th, 2019 : Today the S.386 / HR 1044 Bill was again presented on Senate Floor and asked for Unanimous Consent and objected/blocked by Sen. Durbin. It is a deadlock, Sen. Durbin wants to lobby for his bill to increase Green Cards, Sen. Lee wants to pass the current one as the other one will not go through and is a poison pill for S. 386 / HR 1044..Sen. Durbin wants a hearing in Judiciary committee on this bill…Sen. Lee says, he does not have any objections for the hearings, but he does not know if the committee would take up..he affirmatively said that the bill is ready to pass and he will do everything to pass this and come back again as needed…Check out two videos from Senate :
- First video recording of the UC – Objections .
- Second Video Recording – Judiciary Committee Hearing info
- At this time, the bill is again stuck
- Oct 16th, 2019 : Two key updates
- RELIEF Act : Sen. Durbin Introduced a bill called “Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families (RELIEF) Act ” that is an alternative for S.386/ HR 1044. It removes backlog, lifts country caps, protects aging out of kids, etc. Official text not out yet. He has asked for unanimous consent for the same and it was objected by Sen. John Kennedy from Louisiana. You can check the entire floor proceedings video and read Sen. Durbin’s Senate Webpage
- Unanimous Consent planned for tomorrow, Oct. 17th, 2019 for S.386 / HR 1044. It is confirmed by Immigration Voice on their Facebook page.
- Oct 15th, 2019 : Attorney Charles Kuck tweets that there could be a Unanimous consent Motion on Floor for S.386 / HR 1044 on Oct 17th, 2019. We do not have any other news sources or groups confirming it yet. We are not sure, if any agreement has been reached with Sen. Durbin to remove the hold… need to wait and see.
- October 15th, 2019 : About 50 business schools deans wrote an open letter to the president and all lawmakers highlighting the need to remove per country caps, modernize H1B programs so that they do not lose talent. It was an open letter published on Wall Street Journal today. Their concern is the shortage of STEM workers in US, falling enrolment rates for Business Schools in US, visa policies are not friendly to attract talent…See below. Read press release on GMAC. There is no specific mention of S386 / HR1044, but they do mention about Per Country Caps and H1B
- Oct 10th, 2019 : A walk was organised in Chicago by Illinois Immigration Reform, primarily high skilled workers from India, to demonstrate their concerns like decades long wait times, issues like aging out of kids and convey Senator Durbin the urgency, pain and importance to pass S.386 / HR 1044. He has put a hold on the current bill in Senate. The walk is to help Sen. Durbin understand the importance and remove his hold. It is reported about 5000 people attended the walk. Also, at the same time, there was a small group of people opposing the same Bill from rest of the world population asking to continue the hold of S.386 / HR 1044 and the current bill is not fair for rest of the world. USAToday covered a news article that talks about the rally and how this bill has divided people… See below couple of tweets and pictures from the walk.
- Oct 4th, 2019 : It is reported by one of the Irish American News website called as IrishEcho indicating that a letter was written to Sen. Durbin urging that the S.386 is not fair or Irish people and it will impact them. Essentially urging the senator to continue the hold on S.386/ HR 1044 and oppose the same. Check more at https://www.irishecho.com/2019/10/hibernians-sound-alarm-over-immigration-bill/
- Oct 1st, 2019 : Nothing new from the progress of the bill HR 1044/S.386 standpoint, but there was an update shared by Immigration voice on the situation with Senator Durbin, some history and his stance. You can read it on Facebook Post . The post indicates that the future of the bill is uncertain as Sen. Durbin would object/ block it unless, there is increase in Green Card numbers…
- Sep 26th, 2019 : Couple of key updates today on S386/HR1044.
- The HR 1044 was not brought onto the floor as expected previously. It was updated by Immigration Voice that the voting would not happen. Check their Tweet .
- Everyone wondered the reason, later the videos related to Senator Dick Durbin indicate the discussion on the HR 1044 bill and where Dick Durbin mentioned that he spoke to Senator Lee on this topic and he would want to do a fix that will benefit everyone and not hurt others. His goal is to raise the overall number of green cards under the EB category, rather than the current bill that favours Indians and hurts rest of the world. Senator Lee knew that he would get objection from Sen. Durbin, hence he did not bring it on the floor…That’s the reason for not having vote today. See below videos captured by users circulated on WhatsApp from the meeting with public. Listen to last 40 seconds, where he talks about what was offered to Sen. Lee.
- Sep 25th, 2019 : Senator Lee updated on his live Facebook Stream that he got agreement from Sen. Perdue on the language and he will bring the HR 1044 ( which is S.386 +H1B Amendments, LCA + Nurses Provision) again tomorrow Sep 26th for Unanimous consent. But, he expressed his concern that Sen. Dick Durbin might object. We need to wait and see. Check out Facebook Live Video from min 29 to 33.
- Sep 19th, 2019 : The amended HR 1044 bill, which is nothing but S.386 with Amendments from Sen. Grassley and Sen. Rand Paul was brought on to the Senate Floor for Unanimous Consent by Senator Lee. It was objected by Republican Senator David Perdue from Georgia stating that the language needs to be changed and it will impact certain industries in his state. Sen. Lee promised to work with him and come back next week on to senate floor.
- Sep 18th, 2019 ( Official) : The official amendment SA 939 text related to HR. 1044 Bill was updated in the congressional record. Read summary : Senate Amended HR 1044 Bill with S386, Section A, H1B, LCA
- Sep 17, 2019 ( Unofficial ) : There are two updates : one is on the actual HR 1044 bill status and second is on the update by ImmigrationVoice.
- ImmigrationVoice Reports that Senator Paul has agreed to remove the hold on the bill and it will be brought to the floor for unanimous consent on Sep 19th, 2019. They claim the below.
- Senator Paul has agreed on a compromise to set aside 5,000 per year for Schedule A workers ( professional nurses) for the next 9 years. In fact, the Schedule A workers receive about 5,000 green cards per year currently.
- The plan is to take up H.R.1044 in Senate with Unanimous consent and amend the changes in the S.386 bill as listed above regarding worker protections and Sen Paul’s Schedule A workers ( nurses) changes in the bill and move it forward. Check Immigration Voice Facebook Post for the actual text claimed by them.
- Changes in Congress website for HR 1044 Bill (Official): No official press releases are released yet confirming the info by immigration voice yet. But, we have changes Congress website related to the bill indicating that it was referred to the Judiciary committee and Senate Amendment 939 is done on it . See below.
- ImmigrationVoice Reports that Senator Paul has agreed to remove the hold on the bill and it will be brought to the floor for unanimous consent on Sep 19th, 2019. They claim the below.
- July 11th, 2019 : After it has passed in House, on July 11th, HR 1044 was received in Senate, read twice and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. See below.
- July 10th, 2019 : HR 1044 Bill was passed in House on July 10th, with a majority of 365 to 65. Below is the split by party and screenshot from the House.gov website voting page. Check Official HR 1044 Vote Status on House.gov
Until July 2019 : Before July 2019, the bills were introduced in House and Senate and there were holds.