Protestors at the rally stressed that because of some employment-based immigration rules that push for a seven percent cap for each country, foreign workers on legal work-visas have to bear several years of waiting before hearing on their green card applications.
Several families of foreign workers gathered in Frankfort, Kentucky, on Saturday to narrate their plight, and fear of getting deported and unemployed due to the unreasonable immigration system.
“We are all legal immigrants. We pay taxes. We all came here legally,” said Indian national Mahesh Devata, WKYT reported.
The rally was joined by Rep. Andy Barr (R-KY 6th District) who talked about the federal regulations that might be hampering a proper immigration process.
According to American Immigration Council (AIC), immigrants make about four percent of the total population in Kentucky and at least three percent of native citizens in the state have one immigrant parent.
“While nearly 4 percent of the state’s population was born in another country, foreign-born residents make up a vital, educated share of the labor force,” AIC reports. “Over a third of immigrants in Kentucky possess a college or higher degree, and 73 percent report speaking English well.”
The participants at the rally stressed that because of some employment-based immigration rules that push for a seven percent cap for each country, foreign workers on legal work-visas have to bear several years of waiting before hearing on their green card applications.
“These legal immigrants are the victims of an arbitrary per-country cap on Green Cards,” Barr said.
In Kentucky, Barr, along with Reps. John Yarmuth, Brett Guthrie, James Comer, and Harold Rogers, has cosponsored the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, popularly called H.R. 392. Nationally, over 300 lawmakers have supported H.R. 392 to address the cap issue.
“These are engineers, these are architects, they’re doctors, they’re nurses, they’re IT professionals, and they can contribute enormously to our community and to our economy. When we talk about immigration reform, we can not forget fixing our broken legal immigration system,” said Barr.
Another Indian American protestor Rajagobal Katanguri, who has been working in the US for more than a decade said, “My two kids are US citizens and if I have no status, I have to go back with my wife, I have to take my kids back.”