Lantos said it was “ridiculous” that to block the many, many registered nurses from abroad because there is an ongoing nursing shortage.
He is planning to introduce a bill at the start of the new Congress, allowing unused visas from prior years to be devoted immediately to alleviate the problem.
In a statement released to media, he said, “Unused visas for people from the many countries where the quotas have not been met in previous years could be reassigned to countries that have met the quota."
“If there are more Filipino or Indian or Chinese nurses ready to meet U.S. needs, they should not be held back, particularly if visas for people with similar skills from other countries are going begging.”
The new US immigration law
The State Department recently issued a bulletin stating that effective Jan. 1, 2005, only visa and status-adjustment applications filed before Jan. 1, 2002, will be processed. It states that immigrant visa quotas for applicants from the Philippines, China and India would soon be reached so applications filed thereafter would be processed only as new visas from other countries become available.
It was done before
A similar measure, the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act contained provisions to recapture employment-based visa numbers for fiscal years 1999 and 2000. It created a pool of about 130,000 numbers to be allocated in the first, second and third preference categories once the employment-based quota was reached.