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Senate Testimony

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Uploaded on Jul 23, 2010

http://www.shusterman.com (213) 623-4592 x0
Immigration Attorney Carl Shusterman's Testimony Before the Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Schedule a legal consultation at http://shusterman.com/schedule-immigr...

Mr. Chairman and Distinguished Members of the Subcommittee:

My name is Carl Shusterman, and I am the principal attorney in the Law Offices of Carl Shusterman in Los Angeles, California. I formerly served as a Trial Attorney with the Immigration and Naturalization Service and have practiced immigration law for over 25 years. I have written many articles regarding the immigration of nurses, physicians and other allied health care professionals to the United States. Some of my articles appear on the Internet at http://shusterman.com Our law firm represents both health care professionals and providers across the country.

I appreciate this opportunity to present my views on how our current immigration policy can be modified to result in improved health care for patients in both urban and rural areas.

Registered Nurses

1. Temporary “H-1C” Visas

U.S. immigration policy regarding registered nurses has become a contributing factor to our national shortage of nurses.

This was not always true. From 1952 to 1990, U.S. health care providers could quickly and easily obtain temporary “H-1″ professional visas for foreign-born nurses. The employer filed a petition with the local INS office which approved it, and forwarded the approved petition to the U.S. Embassy in the nurses home country which issued a working visa to the nurse.

However, following the effective date of the Immigration Nursing Relief Act of 1989 (INRA), only hospitals with “attestations” certified by the Labor Department were permitted to petition for temporary “H-1A” status for nurses. Despite the stringent paperwork requirements imposed upon employers by the Labor Department, between 1990 and 1995, approximately 7,000 – 8,000 nurses entered the U.S. annually using temporary visas.

When INRA expired in 1995, a governmental commission recommended that the law be continued with certain modifications. Instead, the law was permitted to expire.

By 1997, the nurse shortage had begun to reappear, endangering the health of patients across the U.S. Representative Bobby Rush introduced legislation to allow 500 nurses to be sponsored by selected hospitals in medically underserved areas on temporary “H-1C” visas.

Similar legislation was introduced in the Senate by Senator Durbin. This legislation was not enacted into law until two years later, on November 12, 1999, when the President signed the Nursing Relief for Disadvantaged Areas Act of 1999 (NRDAA). By that time, due to growing national shortage of nurses, the addition of 500 nurses per year to a workforce that exceeded one million nurses had become a woefully inadequate response to the problem.

For a complete transcript of Attorney Shusterman's Testimony, please see http://shusterman.com/carlshustermans...

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