Bipartisan Senate bill would make more green cards available to doctors, nurses

A bipartisan Senate bill, set for introduction when the chamber returns, would make it easier for doctors and nurses to obtain green cards.

The Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, introduced by Sens. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSunday shows preview: White House, congressional Democrats unable to breach stalemate over coronavirus relief On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire MORE (D-Ill.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), would allocate 40,000 unused, previously authorized immigrant visas to doctor and nurses who can work to treat coronavirus patients without increasing immigration numbers.

“The growing shortage of doctors and nurses over the past decade has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis,” Perdue said in a statement. “Fortunately, there are thousands of trained health professionals who want to practice in the United States. This proposal would simply reallocate a limited number of unused visas from prior years for doctors and nurses who are qualified to help in our fight against COVID-19. This shortage is critical and needs immediate attention so that our healthcare facilities are not overwhelmed in this crisis.”

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“Consider this: one-sixth of our health care workforce is foreign-born. Immigrant nurses and doctors play a vital role in our health care system, and their contributions are now more crucial than ever. Where would we be in this pandemic without them? It is unacceptable that thousands of doctors currently working in the U.S. on temporary visas are stuck in the green card backlog, putting their futures in jeopardy and limiting their ability to contribute to the fight against COVID-19,” Durbin added.

Sens. Todd YoungTodd Christopher YoungRepublicans dismiss Trump proposal to delay election Senate GOP posts M quarter haul as candidates, Trump struggle A renewed emphasis on research and development funding is needed from the government MORE (R-Ind.) and Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker On The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure MORE (D-Del.) also co-introduced the measure. The filing period for the recaptured visas would be limited to 90 days after the end of President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s emergency declaration due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Our bill strengthens our health care workforce & improves access to care for Americans,” Durbin said in a statement Monday. “I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me & @sendavidperdue in support of these vital health care workers.”