Governor Jerry Brown of California is not waiting for the President or the Congress to act on immigration reform. The Governor took matters into his own hands and signed three immigration reform bills benefitting immigrants in his state.
The first bill creates the State Dream Loan Program, which will provide $9.2 million for state public universities to administer loans to undocumented students.
The second bill will allow undocumented immigrants, if they otherwise qualify, to apply for professional state licenses to work as doctors, dentists, nurses and other professions which require state licensure.
The third bill is in response to the recent influx of unaccompanied minors and allocates $3 million for non-profit organizations to legally represent minors in their deportation cases.
While Governor Brown tackled real immigration issues, the Congress and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) did this:
DHS announced it will allow up to 13,999 non-immigrant workers during fiscal year 2015 to temporarily work in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). I am very happy for our friends in CNMI, but while they enjoy a huge supply of foreign labor, the mainland businesses suffer because they cannot find qualified workers and they cannot bring workers stateside because of a lack of visa numbers.
The CNMI has a population of approximately 54,000 and Congress allocates 13,999 work visas? That's more than 25% of the population! Contrarily, the United States has a population of approximately 315 million and the Congress allocates less than 80,000 visas per year for the H-1b specialty occupation visa category. That accounts for 0.025% of the U.S. population.
Mr. President and Congress; look to Governor Brown, it's not that hard to do the right thing.