The current backlog for US Green Card applicants from India has reached a staggering 195 years, causing significant distress and uncertainty for Indian professionals, particularly those in the tech industry. This backlog is a result of the seven per cent country cap on employment-based Green Card allocation, which has led to severe repercussions for countries like India.
The Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS USA) has highlighted that this backlog disproportionately affects Indian tech professionals who play a crucial role in maintaining the United States competitive edge in technology industries. However, the backlog hinders these talented individuals from contributing meaningfully to the country’s growth and innovation.
In response to this issue, a bipartisan group of 56 US lawmakers, led by Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Larry Bucshon, have urged President Joe Biden and his administration to take executive action to make priority dates current for Green Card applicants from India. They believe this action will reduce the 195-year-long wait period and backlog, providing relief to high-skilled employment-based visa holders.
The lawmakers have also appealed to the administration to mark all dates for filing of employment-based visa applications as “current”. This would allow applications to be filed regardless of applicants’ country-based priority date, potentially making some eligible for employment authorization documents to change jobs, start businesses, and travel abroad without penalty.
Aman Kapoor, President of Immigration Voice, has called this proposal a “game changer” for nearly one million high-skilled immigrants whose status in the US can end at any moment and is entirely dependent upon their employer. He criticized the current “discriminatory” immigration system that requires Indian nationals to wait “200 years for a Green Card while people from 150 other countries have no wait at all”.
The entire basis for this problem is a “discriminatory” immigration system that requires Indian nationals to have to wait “200 years for a Green Card while people from 150 other countries have no wait at all”, Kapoor said.
“We now call on the Biden administration to do the right thing and heed the call of this rare bipartisan letter and give high-skilled immigrants here for over a decade the same rights to work and travel that people being paroled into the US for the first time just this week have,” he said.
“We are no less deserving of basic human rights and fairness than anyone else and we hope the Biden administration will agree,” Kapoor said.
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