Bill to end per country quota gives hope to hope for Green Card applicants

Two Bills introduced on February 7th simultaneously in the US Senate and the House proposing to end per-country limits on employment-based green cards, a long-standing demand of advocacy groups of high-tech workers from India, has given rise to hope among hundreds of thousands green card applicants.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act Bill also increases the per-country caps for family-sponsored green cards from 7 percent to 15 percent. Without adding any new green cards, S. 386 creates a “first-come, first-served” system that alleviates the backlogs and allows green cards to be awarded more efficiently, the senators said in a press statement.

Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA) who has announced candidacy for 2020 presidential election and Mike Lee (R-UT), introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act that would also adjust per-country limits for family-based green cards.

An identical bill was tabled in the House of Representatives by Congressmaen Zoe Lofgren and Ken Buck, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, with co-sponsorship of a bipartisan group of 112 members of Congress.

“Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” Sen. Harris said in a statement. “We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to the economy. I’m proud to join with Sen. Lee on this bipartisan legislation to ensure that our country remains vibrant and dynamic,” she said.

News reports said the bill has broad bipartisan support and is additionally cosponsored by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim Moran (R-KS) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), among others.

The bill has also been endorsed by Immigration Voice, Compete America Coalition, the Information Technology Industry Council, Google, Microsoft, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, The Heritage Foundation, La Raza, and many others.

“There is consensus that reforms to fix the nation’s immigration laws for high-skilled workers are long overdue,” said Andy Halataei, ITI Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.

“The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would allow U.S. employers to attract and retain the world’s best and highly-educated employees, enabling highly-skilled workers who are committed to the United States to propel American innovation, grow the economy, and help create jobs in America. This bill will help maintain U.S. competitiveness as a nation,” it said.

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