Indian Americans Raise Voice Over Green Card Limit
While 800 Indian Americans collected outside the White House this weekend, another event is planned this week to protest against country-based limits for Green Card approvals.
A large congregation of Indian Americans staged a march outside the White House on Feb. 3, backing United States President Donald Trump’s proposal to implement a “merit based” immigration system in the country. Another similar march is planned for Feb. 7 and 8 over the boiling issue.
The march on Feb. 3, organized by Chicago-based Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC), was attended by about 800 Indian technology workers from all over the United States, including California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, New Jersey, Illinois and New York.
The techies marched with slogans such as “Trump loves Hindus,” “Trump loves India,” “Trump bringing Ram Rajya,” “Indians love Trump.” They also demanded a discontinuation of country quotas for Green Card approvals as they are at a disadvantage with the current system that imposes a limit of 9,800 on the number of Green Cards issued to each country. More than 50,000 people apply for a Green Card every year.
Trump’s proposal to end family unification immigration would open up more space for Indian skilled workers, Krishna Bansal of RHC told the Hindu “Thirty per cent of the country’s skilled immigrants come from India, but they have to wait several decades before being eligible for Green Cards. These are people who are already here, contributing to the economy, paying their taxes and raising their families,” he said, adding that the marchers support the ending of what the administration calls “chain migration.”
Another issue the marchers raised concerns about was the future of their children, who would lose the dependency status when they turn 21.
“These are legal dreamers. Colleges are reluctant to admit them as their visa status has to be changed midway through the course. And once they are graduates, they go back to the end of the queue, again starting with an H-1B application,” Ramesh Ramanath, who grew up in Chennai, was quoted as saying by the publication.
“Dreamers” is the term used for undocumented residents who were brought to the country illegally when they were children. The Obama administration had protected them under an executive action that will end in March.
The issue is also likely to be raised during the upcoming march on Feb. 7 and 8, when H-1B and H4 visa holders from 30 American states are expected to land in Washington, Firstpost reported.
“More than 900 people have registered, we expect at least a little more than ~ 500 to land up,” Houston-based Harshit Chatur of Skilled Immigrants of America (SIIA), a social media closed group leading next week’s march, told the publication. The agenda is to protest against the current system of Green Card approvals, which has country-based limits.