June 13, 2013
From: Isaac Brown, Legislative Counsel
Senate to Consider Immigration Bill Amendment Important to Arts Community
Yesterday, senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that they were submitting their legislation, the Arts Require Timely Service (ARTS) Act, as an amendment to the immigration reform bill currently being debated in the Senate.
Amendment 1183 would fix a shortcoming in current law that results in long and unpredictable wait times for artists seeking O and P visas to perform in the United States. While current law requires the processing of applications within 14 days, lax enforcement often results in delays, in some cases as long as six months. This uncertainty has a devastating impact on performers and arts organizations throughout the country who need a reliable visa system in order to plan, promote and present performances.
Amendment 1183 addresses this issue by requiring the Department of Homeland Security to provide expedited processing (without charging the nonprofit organization sponsoring the visa) should the 14-day waiting period be surpassed.
NASAA, along with our colleagues in the arts producing and presenting fields, has long supported this legislative correction to the nation’s immigration law, and urges the Senate to approve amendment 1183.
If you have any questions about the legislation, please contact me by phone at 202-540-9162, or by e-mail at Isaac@38northsolutions.com.