The employment-based Green card has been facing a backlog in the US. A new US immigration bill that was introduced to clear this backlog has been obstructed from passing in the US Senate.
The abolishment of country caps for employment-based Green cards is the purpose of the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, 2019. Country caps, according to Mike Lee, a US Senator, lead to applicants for Green cards face waiting times for up to 200 years to get one.
More senators have opposed the bill. Presently, there’s an annual 7% country cap on Green cards that are employment-based. Applicants, especially from countries like India, are due to the cap facing exasperatingly long waiting times to get a permanent residency in the US via a green card.
There were voices like that of Senator Lee who denounced the discrimination that the present approach to Green card is capable of making. The current way of issuance of Green cards makes it possible to direct discrimination against applicants who apply from a certain country. These applicants will have to wait for a long time before their applications are considered and processed.
After blocking the bill, no new date for voting on the bill has been set. A new version of the bill was drafted in December 2019. It included an option that enabled applicants to wait for their Green card and yet travel and change jobswithout a change in their status. With this provision, children stopped losing their US immigration status once they turned 21.
But even this bill faced opposition from Senator Dick Durbin. His argument was that such a version cannot clear the backlog and more Green card applicants would spring up.
He claimed that the bill’s latest version includes several provisions absent in the original bill drafted by Senator Lee. These include filing to protect workers and their families who are presently held up in the backlog.
Had the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act was passed, lots of applicants waiting for the Green card could have got the benefit. The bill was cleared by the House of Representatives of the US earlier this year.
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