New US bill seeks to increase Green Cards but limit entry of their dependents

A bill introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives is looking to increase the allotment of green cards by 45 percent, rising from 120,000 to 175,000 per year as part of the ‘Securing America’s Futures Act.’ The new bill tabled in the US Congress seeks to put limits on the number of people who get green cards to live and work in the United States, thereby reducing immigration levels by a quarter.

On one hand, the bill looks to limit the number of people who are given US visas, like the dependents of green-card holders. On the other, it looks to give out 45 percent more visas to skilled workers and people in certain agricultural fields.

The bill, backed by the Trump administration, was tabled by members of the Homeland Security Committee Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives.

If the bill passes, then this would be the end to the Diversity Visa Lottery program which will reduce the overall immigration levels from 1.05 million to 260,000 each year and many Indians on H1-B visa are expected to be a major beneficiary of this act.

There are at least 500,000 Indians waiting in line for their green cards while they seek annual extensions for their H-1B visas. Many have been waiting for decades and an increase in the number of green cards per year is likely to reduce that wait period drastically.

Indian comes in third on the list of green card holder countries with 64,116, Mexico and China come in after that with 158,619 and 74,558, respectively. Pakistan has 18,057 green card holders in the pipeline.

 “This bill offers common-sense solutions that will finally secure our borders, better support our frontline defenders, strengthen interior enforcement, and get tough on those who break our immigration laws. With this the president at the helm, we have the opportunity to provide the security and rule of law our founding fathers intended,” McCaul said, the PTI report said.

But if Indian Americans want to bring other family members to the U.S. then they may not be able to do that as the Securing America’s Future Act eliminates the green card program for relatives, other than spouses and minor children. However, the act does create a renewable temporary visa for parents of citizens to unite families as well as a workable agricultural guest worker program to grow the U.S. economy.

Labrador said “the bill will modernize America’s immigration system for the next generation, enacting conservative reforms that will make the nation strong.”

“This carefully crafted legislation, which is aligned with the White Houses’ immigration priorities, combines enforcement measures and increased border security to enhance public safety, ensure the door remains open to law-abiding immigrants, and restore the rule of law,” Goodlatte added. “The legislation would accomplish the President’s core priorities for the American people,” the White House said in a statement.

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