Visa Crunch

Good news for Indians as US lawmakers seek to ease green card backlog

Representatives wrote that “failing to provide a path to lawful permanent residence for the 1.2 million people in the employment-based green card backlog, the majority of whom are H-1B visa holders, would be tantamount to staging an economic recovery with one hand tied behind our back.” A group of 40 US lawmakers has proposed a budget reconciliation package that would provide relief to the 1.2 million people stuck in the employment-based green card backlog, the vast majority of whom are from India. The lawmakers said in a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that the budget reconciliation package will help people stuck in the employment-based green card backlog while also strengthening the economy. It would be tantamount to staging an economic recovery with one hand tied behind our back if the 1.2 million people in the employment-based green card backlog, the majority of whom are H-1B visa holders, were not given a path to lawful permanent residence, according to the letter.

It’s absurd to relegate H-1B holders to non-immigrant status indefinitely while China, Russia, and other major powers are ascendant on the global stage and eager to welcome the innovators of the twenty-first century. This can and must be considered in the current budget reconciliation package, according to the document.

Individuals from a single country are only eligible for 7% of employment-based green cards under the current system. As a result, people from countries with large populations, such as India and China, will have to wait decades to become lawful permanent residents, according to lawmakers. A route to the lawful permanent residence must be resolved, and the system must be reformed, to fully unlock the economic potential of high-skilled immigrants. They claim that reforming the immigration system will be especially beneficial to the United States as its economy and workforce recover from the pandemic.

According to the Congressmen, current law prevents the American economy from tapping into the full international talent pool of high-skilled workers already present and working in the US — including the scientists, inventors, healthcare workers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals who give the US its competitive advantage today. This is because high-skilled immigrants from India, China, and other countries with large populations of workers keen to stay in America and power our economy and social safety net programs for generations to come are effectively barred from receiving green cards, they wrote. H-1B visa holders are prohibited from changing jobs or starting their own businesses.

The H-1B visa’s momentary nature forces recipients to live in a constant period of limbo, restricting them from becoming innovators, purchasing homes, hiring more Americans, or otherwise establishing themselves as integral parts of the American economy.

Dependent children, known as Documented Dreamers, are frequently obligated to self-deport to their birth country if they reach age 21 before their parent obtains a green card, having lived in the United States for most of their lives, according to the lawmakers.

Ravi Patel

Ravi Patel

To say it in the most sardonic way possible, I am least skilled as an engineer and instill a myopic view of all the experiences I have anticipated so far. However, I stir the pot, colors from which come surging forth as I choose to describe myself as an artist. Here's hoping to diversify my awareness from that cleft beyond writing.

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