Extension of Employment Verification and EB5 Programs12 Dec 2003
President George W. Bush signed the Basic Pilot Extension and Expansion Act of 2003 (Public Law No. 108-156), into law on December 3, 2003. This new law extends and expands several important immigration programs through 2008. These programs were first introduced under the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996 (IIRIRA).
Certain programs were designed under IIRIRA to test methods of providing nondiscriminatory work eligibility verification, with a focus on electronic verification. The programs relating to verification of employment eligibility are the employment eligibility basic pilot program, citizenship attestation program, and machine-readable document program.
The employment eligibility pilot program will be extended to all 50 states by December 1, 2004. Prior to the passage of this law, the program was only offered in California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, and Nebraska. These states were selected for the initial testing, as IIRIRA mandated that the basic pilot program be offered in at least five of the seven states believed to have the highest populations of undocumented foreign nationals. The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security must report to Congress on the progress of the expansion and solutions to previous concerns about the first three programs by June 1, 2004.
The law also extends the EB5 immigrant investor regional pilot program. The General Accounting Office (GAO) must report to Congress in one year regarding the immigrant investor program. More information on this and the other programs will be in an upcoming issue of the MurthyBulletin, as well as on MurthyDotCom.