Sponsors bipartisan amendment to allow crucial services from doctors and religious organizations to continue for those in need
July 9, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senator Harry Reid applauded the passage of a bipartisan amendment he cosponsored that focuses on ensuring the continued availability of services provided by doctors and religious institutions. Senate Amendment 1428, authored by Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and cosponsored by Reid, has tremendous support in the religious community, as well as on both sides of the political aisle in Congress.
“The passage of this bipartisan amendment, which is important to Nevada and the nation, is government at its best” Reid said. “This bill will benefit Nevada by continuing to send doctors where they are needed most, allowing people of faith to act in the best intentions of their respective religions by providing charitable and other services, and ending the penalty on individuals who lose their spouses in war or through other tragic circumstances.”
What Amendment 1428 Does
1) Reauthorizes for three years the “Conrad 30”, J-1 visa waiver program that allows foreign doctors, who are already in the United States, and who have been trained in the United States, to extend their stay in the country if they agree to practice in rural communities or other medically underserved areas. This program is crucial to bringing medical care to many residents of rural Nevada. The program is currently set to expire in September.
2) Reauthorizes for three years the Religious Worker Visa program, which permits religious workers (monks, nuns, and other religious workers affiliated with a bona fide, nonprofit religious organization in the United States) to enter into the United States to perform pastoral and social services on behalf of religious institutions. These workers perform a variety of tasks that assist the individual denomination but also the greater community. They work in religious schools, design and build temples, staff soup kitchens, homeless shelters and community centers, and perform numerous other critical religious services. The program is currently set to expire in September.
3) Cures the “widow penalty” in current immigration law, so that individuals married less than two years are not faced with deportation due to the untimely death of a U.S. citizen spouse. While the number of cases affected by this 2-year marriage threshold is small, several of them include widows of US armed service-members killed in the line of duty and individuals widowed by tragic accidents.
# # #