Today, Congress reconvened after summer recess. Immigration advocates had hoped that the comprehensive bill the senate passed back in June would be up for discussion. But with the debate over a possible strike on Syria, and the debt ceiling rearing its head again, and they're worried immigration reform will get buried.
Here in California, the State Assembly recently passed a resolution urging Congress and the President to pass immigration reform, including changing the regulations for H-1B visas. Those are employer-sponsored visas for highly-skilled foreign workers, often in science and technology. Earlier this year, US Citizenship and Immigration Services had an unexpectedly high number of H-1B applicants. Rather than reviewing each of the 124,000 applications individually -- and for context, the cap is 85,000 -- they resorted to a computer-generated lottery to pick who could stay in the country.
The fate of millions of people depend on what happens to immigration reform legislation. This week, we’re hearing the stories of some recent immigrants, interviewed by KALW’s Eva Soncin. Today, we meet Mahmoud Khafagy, an engineer from Egypt, who applied for one of those visas.