"That's a game changer from the original bill," said a tweet from a top ranking immigration lawyer Greg Siskind. It gives people "most of the benefits of a green card," said Siskind, who is working with hospital chains to expand the pipeline of foreign nurses and doctors into U.S. hospitals.
Current law says migrants and foreign contract workers become Legal Permanent Residents of the United States once they get green cards and also become eligible to apply for citizenship and voting cards in five years.
Lee's "Green-Card Lite" process gives foreign workers all those benefits except a five-year path to citizenship, said Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. Lee's bill "grants de-facto green cards by other means — a stealth increase in legal immigration," Krikorian said, even though GOP legislators say they oppose any increase in green cards.