“Immigrants make this country stronger and our economy more dynamic,” says Cook.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has become the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to bat for S.386, or the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which is currently before the Senate.
The tech leader urged the Senate “to move quickly to pass” the bill, which would remove country-specific quota for Green Cards and end the backlog. He tweeted: “Immigrants make this country stronger and our economy more dynamic. As a first step toward needed comprehensive reform, I urge the Senate to move quickly to pass the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act. The contributions of these workers are critical to America’s future.”
The companion bill of S.386, “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act,” or H.R. 1044, was passed by the US House of Representatives on July 10.
S.386 was introduced in the Senate the day before — on July 9 — by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah. Its cosponsors include Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris.
The bill is being blocked by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois, and Sen. Rand Paul R-Kentucky, who introduced their own bills in place of S.386.
Durbin introduced his bill Wednesday. The bill, “RELIEF or Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families Act” (S.2603), proposes to amend “the Immigration and Nationality Act to end the immigrant visa backlog” and increase the number of Green Cards.
While introducing the bill, Durbin criticized Lee for trying to pass S.386 without any debate or hearing. He accused the Utah Republican of negotiating amendments with his Republican colleagues in private. “That is not how the Senate should work,” Durbin said.
Paul’s bill, S.2091, or “Backlog Elimination, Legal Immigration, and Employment Visa Enhancement” (BELIVE) Act, also proposes to remove the Green Card backlogs for employment-based visa holders.
Indian immigration activists, however, denounced both RELIEF Act and BELIEVE Act. San Jose-based based Netra Chavan, who runs a large Facebook group, tweeted:
“US citizens need jobs not Green cards @SenatorDurbin – RELIEF ACT @RandPaul – BELIEVE ACT, let’s not fool them. We are locals with approved GC status in our HOME. Remove hold from S386 & ACT before our children self-deport @21 age. TIME to knock FEAR ACT for FREEDOM. JAI HIND.”
Sen. David Perdue reverses stand on S. 386, but Sen. Dick Durbin blocks vote (September 26, 2019)
House passes Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, H.R. 1044 (July 10, 2019)
Threat of deportation is real for undocumented South Asians in US (April 17, 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)