Indian immigration activists to rally in Chicago to pressure Sen. Dick Durbin on S.386

Photo credit: Natasha Israni

“Walk for Equality” will start from the City Hall in downtown Chicago and end at Durbin’s office.

Green Card backlog has been affecting Indian nationals working in the United States for decades now. As the momentum continues to build up, especially among the H-1B visa community, a walk is being organized in Chicago, later this afternoon in support of the Senate bill S.386, which is currently being blocked by Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin.

Billed as the “Walk for Equality,” the initiative has been organized by a group called the Illinois Immigration Forum. Several Indian organizations from Illinois and other Midwest states part of the walk.

RELATED: Thousands march in Chicago to persuade Sen. Dick Durbin to support S.386 (October 11, 2019)

Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, has been a vocal opponent of the bill. Its main sponsor, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, has been trying to bring the bill to the floor through a “unanimous consent.” However, initially Sen. David Perdue, R-Georgia, and then Durbin have blocked the attempt.

If any senator objects to the bill, which seeks to remove the country quota for Green Cards, a vote would not take place.

RELATED: S.386 is dead on arrival, hints White House immigration hawk Stephen Miller (October 2, 2019)

“S.386, or the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019,” is championed by Sen. Lee and [Kamala Harris],” said Venkat Reddy, one of the organizers of the walk. “The companion H.R.1044 passed the US House of Representatives in July with overwhelming majority and it is one step away from becoming law of the land. Sen. Lee mentioned two weeks back in a town hall that Sen. Durbin, the senior senator from Illinois, is opposed to the unanimous consent.”

The Indian community of the state was shocked to learn that their only chance to get out of decades long backlog will not be a reality soon and that motivated all actitivists from the Chicagoland area and across Illinois to come under one umbrella “Illinois Immigration Forum” on September 29th, he said.

RELATED: House passes Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, H.R. 1044 (July 10, 2019)

The Forum debated on ways to communicate its members’ pain to the Senator, and “this led to the discussion of organizing a walk to appeal to Sen. Durbin to not block the bill when it comes up for unanimous consent,” the activist said. “That is our only agenda for the community — collectively work together with senator to support our future and a chance at American dream,” he added.

A recent a video that went viral on Twitter alleged that Durbin, while attending a town hall recently, made fun of thousands of Indians awaiting green cards for decades. The video showed a man handing over a mock Green Card to the senator and saying, “If you want more Green Card, here is all you want.” The video shows Durbin accepting it amidst a peal of laughter, saying, “Thank you very much, been waiting for years.”

RELATED: Sen. David Perdue reverses stand on S. 386, but Sen. Dick Durbin blocks vote (September 26, 2019)

The organizations came together to highlight the importance of passing S.386 and create awareness that the bill intends to create equality for all by removing per country caps for employment-based Green Cards. They call for a first-come, first-serve approach is required to remove the unfathomable wait-time of over 150 years for Indians.

This apart, the bill would also save dependent kids from aging out and self-deportation as well as enabling professionals who add value to the American economy in important fields such as medicine, science and engineering.

The companion HR 1044 was passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming vote earlier this year in July. The bill proposes to phase out the per country limits on employment-based Green Cards, which prevents any single country from receiving more than 7 percent of the Green Cards issued in a year.

According to one report, in 2018, more than half of the employees for whom US employers requested Green Cards were Indian nationals, but only 13 percent of them received the Green Cards. The country limits lead to an uneven distribution of a backlog.

The Walk for Equality would start from the City Hall in downtown Chicago at 4.00 pm on October 10 and continue till Durbin’s office in Dearborn.

ALSO READ:

The newly passed H.R.1044 raises caps for family-based green cards (July 10, 2019)

How Netra Chavan channeled her own frustrations to build an H4 and H-1B visa support system (February 14, 2019)

RHC’s H-1B rally demands elimination of Green Card backlog, protection for ‘DALCA’ children (February 10, 2019)

Trump talks about changes in H-1B Visa, including a possible citizenship (January 11, 2019)

Trump’s tweet on H-1B and path to citizenship evokes lukewarm response (January 12, 2019)

Waiting for the Wait to End: The human face of Indian immigrants caught in the Green Card backlog (December 4, 2018)

H-4 and H-1: Time for Indian immigrants to speak up on immigration policy, says author Amy Bhatt (January 5, 2019)

The unstable life of Indians on H-1B visa in the US due to visa renewal policy (October 28, 2016)

High-skilled Indian workers, DALCA kids, rally on Capitol Hill to clear green card backlog (June 15, 2018)

Reverse brain drain – the experience of three couples who moved back to India from the US (January 20, 2014)

41 Comments

  1. Akash Bhagwat

    I have been in the US for over 14 years now and still hold a dependent visa. It seems unfair as I am graduating high school next year and still don’t have access to a green card. I have treated this country as my home and am not eligible for the most basic job. This is really messed up. Man God bless us all through this big mess.

  2. Giving GC to those who has just entered or through other categories will not test their sincerity towards the US. It’s like doing charity of GCs. Everyone should wait equally to get GCs. First come first serve. Only on the basis of Merit and not birth. Thanks

  3. This Immigration is illogical. You can’t keep filing I 140 endlessly when everything is based on country of birth.

  4. Giving Green cards to people who has just entered or those who come with GCs and enter the US won’t do anything good for the US. Stop birth country based Immigration. It should be merit based Immigration.

  5. This is the first country I am watching who doesn’t want Merit based Immigration. They are happy giving instant GCs in all other non contributing categories chain, Diversity, DACA, Refugees, Asylums, Students of ROW though H1B except one. Such Immigrants won’t be sincere to the USA. People who are waiting legally and contributing in taxes for fair amount of years will appreciate wholeheartedly. Thanks.

  6. I am sure there are way better options than removing the country cap which will allow flooding of the market by greedy rich tech! They have been doing that for so many years using the now debunked STEM crisis nonsense. It is the last control! Even though the country cap is 7%, Indians get more due to spill-over, so it comes to nearly 15% – is that not good enough? If not, increase then quota for a set number of years! It is simply not fair to the American tech worker who has been hammered by this insidious H-1B system. Or just lessen the backlog by removing people who are not really “highly skilled” – during the Obama/Bush years, every one passed as “highly skilled”!!

    • Back then, it took a long time to get a green card. Why those called “highly skill” gets the privilege ? Too many already!!

  7. I totally support the S386. Its fair and based on first come first serve. When we do not discriminate for VISA allotment why discrimination on GC allotment. I also came through H1 and got GC within a year. Why should our fellow coworkers on H1 B should suffer this long waiting time.
    Please support this bill as this bill does not increase any GC limit and do not harm anyone else.

  8. It’s kind of funny when it’s perfectly fine for Indians to wait for decades, but the moment you flip it to say the others have to wait instead then there is discrimination racism, etc

    Lets be honest people’s

    You let Haitians in because of an earthquake with 0 skills and the become citizens whereas Indians waiting for decades have and then go home

    This is fair????

  9. bobthebuilder

    It’s kind of funny when it’s perfectly fine for Indians to wait for decades, but the moment you flip it to say the others have to wait instead then there is discrimination racism, etc

    Lets be honest people’s

    You let Haitians in because of an earthquake with 0 skills and the become citizens whereas Indians waiting for decades have to go home

    This is fair????

  10. In one word, this rule is – Give 90% of all the green card quota for India for next 10 years. Do you think is that fair to rest of the world? No, No, No….

    • It is fair cus it will be first come first serve as opposed to descrimination based on national origin.

      • Is it fair to give GC to people who has just entered the country and never contributed in any ways? I don’t think those people will appreciate GC as much as those who are waiting last 15 years just because their birth country is India. This was going to happen because I140 filings, Immigration and stamping fees collection for 15 years are happening without any thoughts. H1B should also have a cap or H1B related Immigration should be stopped. Both won’t happen. So what’s the solution?? This kind of illogical Immigration doesn’t have a future.

  11. The quota system of giving GC per country, cannot go forever. When Indian’s are waiting for 150 yrs, others get in few months..!! This is not fair and US is county of fairness so as the name of the bill.!! Jai ho..!!

    • Tanay Mishra

      Dude, there are no toilets in India. You know how long they wait before getting a chance to take a dump on some street?? The green card wait is nothing!!! They can wait forever, no green cards for them.

  12. Hassan Rouhani

    Just like my hacker troll bro Tanay said, Indian frauds don’t deserve anything. How about our kids who will be born in 10-20 years. What about them? We Iranians currently wait for 9-12 months for American Greencards, that’s like 69 Years in Iranian time. Why will they have to wait for people who got to be ahead in line just because of their age? This is a clear human rights violation penal code 902, barbarian age discrimination against the babies. #EndDiscriminationAgainstFutureBabies

    • National Council of Iran

      Supreme Leader, Thanks for the comments. We are currently working on a tie-up with KKK and have sent them the finest Kebab recipe via HelloFresh. With your blessings, we will send every Indian Kaafir home. For my nephew who will be born in 2035, “You are welcome”. #GreenCardForNephews

    • What role Iranian have played in building US as great country…. Look at Indian role in building this great nation.. and if you still can’t think of it, Google it..:-).. Well, You will find that, Google is also being led by Indian..!! The quota system of giving GC per country, cannot go forever, when others are waiting for 150 yrs and you get in few months..!! This is not fair and US is county of fairness so as the name of the bill.!! Jai ho..!!

    • “Waiting for 9-12 months is like 69 years”. Did you watch Interstellar movie lately ? Wow that is really so sad and such a long time. Feel pity for you for now and when the bill passes.

    • Good Wishes

      You can easily mention “Indian fraudsters” coz you have racist mindset. I would hesitate to say “Iranian terrorists” because they are not. Please grow up.

    • Just a thought of first come first serve is making you think like that than just imagine people are waiting last 15 years. GC shouldn’t be on the basis of country of birth. People who get immediate GCs won’t appreciate as much as those who are waiting last 15 to 20 years contributing in every way. Immigration should be merit based not chain based or GC lottery based . Thanks.

    • WhiteFreckles

      What on earth are you babbling about? I hope this is a joke. Your whole aim in life is to come to America, not contribute anything and just breed like bunnies. America doesn’t owe you anything.

  13. Jack Anderson

    Deport them all! They have come here by fraud and now they wanna make their stay permanent by lies and bullying! They’re already getting 20% of green cards and now they want to take it all. Similar to what they are doing with H1B visa!

  14. Peter Jackson

    Way to go people.
    Everyone (including Immigrants ) have right of freedom of speech. Don’t go by words of bigots, who turn back and close the door behind.
    This is peaceful effort by law abiding , tax paying, legal immigrants. I support fairness in the process .

  15. How is this bill a benefit to the citizens of Illinois? It looks to me like this bill will cause the citizens of Illinois to forfeit jobs to foreigners. How am I wrong?

    • Than how this country going to benefit from those also who enter the US with GCs or get immediate GCs? There are 80% Immigration people in the US with zero contribution to the country? Will they be sincere and appreciate GC like those who are waiting last 15 years? Fix illogical Immigration or stop H1B dual intent visa for all. Stop filing I140 and taking stamping, Immigration fees collection endlessly. Thanks

    • WhiteFreckles

      Are there are ton of high skilled workers in Illinois? Did your job get taken away by a qualified Indian? Why are you whining?

  16. Tanay Mishra

    Yeah right, they can walk all they want, walk right into Lake Michigan and disappear for chrissake. No one wants these jerks here, too many of them got into the US already and all of them guilty of faking resumes, stealing jobs, defrauding USCIS with bogus visa applications. DEPORT THEM ALL NOW, SENATOR DURBIN DID ABSOLUTELY THE RIGHT THING. How dare these bozos protest the very govt. that allowed them into the country!! indians have become a sore menace that needs to be eradicated from the US. No more of these visa hogs, period.

    • Mishra, teri to phat rahi hai mere bhai, ab to tu Dick ko apna baap bana lega, it seems like. Chal lets go together for the walk. Tension nahin lene ka.. tera job ab gaya take rest.. :)

    • Right. Like Senator Durbin is going to hear your voice like right now and deport all of them. Go bark elsewhere with your racist comments.

    • This is the text book reference of racist comment. Backlogged people are actual people waiting in line for decades just for their turn. Not asking for extra green cards. We are asking the law should be giving green cards based on skill not to countries. Already we have diversity visa for countries . Win win for Americans. If you keep skilled people in backlog , you encourage the abuse and encourage low wages. Treat all immigrants equal.

    • Good Wishes

      fake..

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