District of Columbia — Late Wednesday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed HR 1044, a bill that would amend per-country immigration restrictions and caps. The bill is likely to die in the Senate, who have been blocking Democrat endorsed and passed House measures throughout the year thus far.
HR 1044, also known as the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants and to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants. The bill increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from 7% of the total number of such visas available that year to 15%, and eliminates the 7% cap for employment-based immigrant visas. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
The House voted on motion to suspend the rules and pass, allowing the bill to head to the Senate without the need of a full House vote. Even if the bill dies in the Senate without a vote, Democrats could point to the passage of this bill during the 2019 Congressional Elections and even the 2020 Presidential Election, pointing to it as a commitment on their stances when it comes to immigration.