Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder has appealed to the US House of Representatives to grant Green Cards on basis of merit rather than the country of birth.
Indians Stuck with H-1B Visa
Pointing out the fact that over 700,000 Indians with high level of working skills are stuck with H-1B visa due to the country-specific quota on Green Cards, he asked for a reformation in US immigration system by a passing a Bill he sponsored–Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017. “More than 700,000 high-skilled immigrant workers from India are in the US today on temporary work visas. These people are working hard every day helping grow our economy, raising their children as Americans right here in our communities,” Yoder said. The lawmaker went on to add:
“But under our immigration system they are stuck on a cycle of temporary work visas, unable to change jobs or even start their own small business to create more American jobs. They’re stuck because of the arbitrary seven per nation cap on employment-based green cards.”
“Right now, there’s a mother in Greenland whose unborn child will be able to obtain permanent residence in America before someone from India who is already here and have been working here for years. That’s absurd and it’s wrong,” he said.
The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 was introduced on January 10 by Utah Republican lawmaker Jason Chaffetz. Yoder, who represents Kansas, requested to be made first sponsor of the bill on July 11. The bill has 236 co-sponsors.
According to report on American Bazaar Online, the bill proposes to “eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants” and “increase the per country numerical limitation for family based immigrants from 7% to 15% of the total number of family-sponsored visas.”
Yoder emphasised the need for this Bill by saying on the House Floor:
“It would transition us to a first-come-first-serve merit-based legal immigration system. It would help these people in need and it would help create new jobs.”
Twelve Year Waiting Period
A study says that the waiting period to secure a Green Card for Indian skilled worker is 12 years– even though India is one of the top countries to get a Green Card for its citizens in US. With the Trump administration, procedures for temporary visas like H-1B have been tightened and start up visa have been delayed. Both of these impact Indian skilled workers in the US. In this atmosphere, it remains to be seen whether this Bill would be passed.