2013-03-26 18:32:57

 Nadine Rogers is the kind of immigrant that Republicans and Democrats say they’d like to have more of—those highly trained in science and technology fields thought to be essential to a competitive U.S. economy. She left Trinidad for the United States in 1988 to earn a master’s degree in communications, and then a Ph.D. in behavioral sciences. She got a job at a Fortune 500 company that in 1993 sponsored her green card. Five years later she became a citizen.

If an immigration reform bill passes this year, it’s sure to include an expansion of work-based visas for people like her.

But for Rogers, who is in her late 40s, the contours of the current discussion don’t fit real life. That’s because Republicans have been hinting that to make room for more immigrants like her, they will reduce the number of visas available to their siblings and adult children.

“Green cards are economic engines for the country,” Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., a member of the so-called Senate Gang of Eight working on immigration reform, recently told the Associated Press. “This is not a family court we’re dealing with here. We’re dealing about an economic need.” That’s a problem for Rogers; the only relative she has a relationship with is her 30-year-old brother, Michael, who has been waiting in Trinidad for a family visa for seven years. Read more here.

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