Immigration Restrictionists and Progressive Diversity Advocates United in Opposition
The proposed Eagle Act, which exploits patriotism in its title, is a reboot of the failed Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants bill, sponsored by senators Kamala Harris and Mike Lee, that would have ended per-country quota caps for immigration. The Harris/Lee bill failed because it couldn’t be reconciled in the House with one week left until the lame duck session ended, because there were too many changes made to the bill. Also the House didn’t have enough time to agree upon a lot of the amendments. Like the previous bill, the Eagle Act is bi-partisan, co-sponsored by Democrat Zoe Lofgren, who represents the Silicon Valley and who also sponsored the first bill in the House, along with Utah Republican John Curtin. The Eagle Act was scheduled to be voted upon, on December 7th, but was delayed, and will most likely be voted on Tuesday the 13th.
The Eagle Act actually goes much further than the previous bill, and would not just end per-country caps, but also grants permanent legal status for both h1b visa holders, and their children and spouses. Basically it would turn the guest worker, h1b visa program, into permanent legal immigration. The existing immigration quotas were enacted as part of a compromise from the Hart-Celler act of 1965, that lifted restrictions on non-Western immigration. There are concerns that the Eagle Act will discriminate against immigrants from smaller nations, as well as against immigrants who are in non-tech fields. For instance the American Hospital Association has expressed concern about the bill, which is largely due to hospitals being dependent upon nurses from the Philippines, who would be disfavored for tech immigrants from India.