Sen. Dick Durbin proposes new immigration bill in place of S.386

Sen. Dick Durbin
Sen. Dick Durbin; photo credit:

While introducing S.2603, the Illinois Democrat says Sen. Mike Lee tried pass S.386 in a stealth manner, without any hearing or debate.

While Indian Green Card hopefuls from across the country have been calling, writing and pleading with Sen. Dick Durbin, who has blocked the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019” (S.386) in the Senate, to change his stance on the bill, the Illinois Democrat has come up with his own plan to end Green Card backlog.

On Wednesday, Durbin and two Democratic colleagues in the Senate, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Sen. Mazie K. Hirono of Hawaii, introduced a new bill that would eliminate the family- and employment-based Green Card.

Titled “RELIEF or Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families Act” (S.2603), the bill proposes to amend “the Immigration and Nationality Act to end the immigrant visa backlog” and increase the number of Green Cards.

RELATED: What is the ‘RELIEF Act’ that Sen. Dick Durbin is proposing in place of S.386? (October 17, 2019)

Introducing S.2603, Durbin talked about his own immigrant roots — his mother immigrated from Lithuania in 1911 — and pointed out that immigration has been a contentious issue almost since the arrival of the May Flower.

The Illinois senator, who is the Democratic whip in the Senate, criticized Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) for trying to pass S.386 in the chamber without any debate. He said that Lee never conducted any hearing on the bill and negotiated several amendments with his Republican colleagues in private. “That is not how the Senate should work,” said Durbin, who has been blocking S.386 in the Senate.

S.386 is the companion bill of H.R. 1044, or the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act,” which was passed by the House in July.

H.R.1044 and S.386, both bipartisan bills, propose to lift the country quotas for Green Cards.

Indian immigration activists have been pressing Durbin to reverse his stand on S.386. On Friday, thousands of Indian nationals protested in downtown Chicago against the Green Card backlog and the impact that is having on their lives.

Some of the protesters followed Durbin at a Democratic Party event on Sunday morning in Chicago.

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

The senator mentioned in his speech that he was confronted by some 200 protesters, who were holding a placard with his name on it. He said: “I had a chance to talk to them, I didn’t run away from them, because I wanted to find out who they were, and why they were there. By and large they were people from India, currently living in the United States and wanted to become legal here and citizens here. Most of them came to the United States bringing special skills that were needed. Many of them were in the Silicon Valley hi tech industries.”

The senator highlighted the story of a physician from India, father of a 11-year-old daughter, who is stuck in the Green Card limbo, along with 520,000 others that are seeking permanent citizen status in the country.

Durbin criticized the Senate leadership for ignoring the immigration issue, pointing out that, last year, there was only one hearing in the Senate and no vote on the floor.

Reminding his colleagues that they are there to solve the problems the country is facing, he said: “Here is a problem we are not solving: How to deal with the backlog of people highly skilled and important people, like [a] doctor from my hometown of Springfield form India, who wants to have a Green Card, giving him an opportunity to become an American citizen. You know what? I want that doctor to become an American citizen. I want him to get a Green Card. We need him in my hometown, many more like him. I want his family with him.”

Watch Sen. Durbin’s speech on the floor:


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

Indian immigration activists to rally in Chicago to pressure Sen. Dick Durbin on S.386 (October 10, 2019)

Petition launched on the White House website in support of Senate bill S. 386  (July 16, 2019)

New petition on White House site calls for passing S. 386, which would eliminate green card country cap (September 25, 2019)

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

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

Will Trump’s proposed immigration reform benefit Indians? What will be its impact on Green Card backlog? (May 20, 2019)

Threat of deportation is real for undocumented South Asians in US (April 17, 2019)

New US visa rules makes migrating to Canada more attractive for Indian professionals (April 5, 2019)

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

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)

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)


  1. Tanay Mishra

    Just like they fake their resumes, submit fraudulent visa applications and blatantly steal jobs and discriminate against anyone not from their caste, these greedy selfish indians also use “fake names” to post on this message board. Ryan? Harry?? Wow, their parents must be real proud of them (NOT!!). You’d think they would have the decency and some self-respect to use their real names. Who allowed these uneducated, unqualified bozos into the country in the first place? Its rather obvious why they should be kicked out of the US permanently, never to be let in again. Sen. Durbin did absolutely the right thing. Kudos to him.

    • Looks like someone outsmart this ABCD or Desi turned citizen that that’s why is crying so loud.:-) Dude, there are always flaws in the system..!! Do you think all the people who are in medicare, food stamps, Social security deserve it..!! NO ..!! Does it mean we should stop giving them . NO..!! Same is for H1b & jobs.. No one denies that & no one is against the actions on those..!!

      When i decided to come here, i was not told that i would have to wait 150 yrs for GC..!! I was not told that despite being eligible, i would not be considered for job because company don’t sponsor..!! I can not quit or get promotion because my LCA(GC) would be screwed..!! There should be level playing field for all the jobs & people and you can expect this no ever else but in US.. I am not sure if you USC/GC but this is my country as well from last 13 yrs and I deserve to be treated as fair as the other country or for the maters illegals which at leaset have DACA and other benefits..!!.!! Jusr because other countries would suffer you cannot overlook the issue of Indian and have them wait for 150 yrs ..!!We waited too long and all other countries had befitted from this rule..!! Now it is time for level plying field and this is overdue..!!

  2. Congratulations Sen Durbin,

    The bill you stopped was struggling from 2012 to till now to be passed by SEN and HOUSE finally BILL almost made it. You have made great point of stopping it and introduced another one which will make people keep hopes and keep watching for your bill progress which will make people fool for another 7 years then guess what by the time your bill is about to make it another Sen. XXXX will stop it and introduce one more of his own. If the end result of the game is always a NIL ,why do you guys even play this game. I think same time can be put to some productive work . I am 100% sure that you do not have 0.000001% belief that your bill will make it through SEN and HOUSE but great point is you are 100% successful in stopping some bill which would have given some sort of relief to Indian waiting in GC line from past 10 years. Hungry person just want FOOD .will not demand for gourmet food. You mentioned do not eat stale bread I am working on giving you gourmet FOOD. Guess what by that time you get Gourmet food hungry MAN Is DEAD DEAD DEAD DEAD………. Hope you have power to bring dead to alive.

  3. Hernandez, any thoughts on your brothers and sisters just walking across the border from Mehico (;) to USA. Do they deserve GC and DACA?

  4. Such Hypocrite & insensitive Senator Durban is..!! I have spent entire of my productive life wasting for Green Card or for the matter EAD (last 13 yrs almost).. Initially I was looking for good employer and once I found it (took 2 yrs) .. paper work and all took 1 yrs.. From then (2010) i am waiting in line, spending huge some of money on paperwork, doing medical (for botched up & unethically visa bulletin revocation).. Can’t change job or take promotion as LCA & GC paperwork would be screwed…!! Can’t make big buying decisions. Feels like hold up due to this GC backlog…!!

    In the meanwhile, kids started growing up and now the fight is not for me getting my good job or promotion but to make sure the kids go to college with status and they stay with us when they are in collage and get the tuition that they deserve..!!

    All this pain is not worth for Senator vs the ILLEGAL immigrant pains and DACA etc which is the priority for democratic leadership ..!! This is such shame for democrats to take legal immigrants hostage for there lust of getting ILLEGAL to main stream…!! Shame on them for bringing & supporting the new bill which they know is dead on arrival..!! This is tactic to stone wall as measure that would have partly solved the issue..!! My future vote ( not matter what ) is against demarcates for there in sensitive & taken for granted attitudes towards law abiding, highly skilled & tax paying LEGAL immigrant

    • Reply to Harry

      1. Such Hypocrite & insensitive Senator Durban is..!! I have spent entire of my productive life wasting for Green Card or for the matter EAD (last 13 yrs almost) – Did anybody force you to do so? I suppose you did all these things with your own desire.

      2. Kids college: Can’t they change their status to F1 if they really want to study here.

      3. highly skilled & tax paying LEGAL immigrant: Don’t you think there are other highly skilled person in the world other than from India? If this law passes, it would start creating backlog for rest of the world. Also, it won’t solve the backlog for new Indian applicant as well.

      So, be practical. Sen Durbin is 100% correct. Increasing the total quota is only the solution. You are angry with him just because you can’t get your green card soon. But think from non-Indian citizen prospective.

      Remember, rest of the world didn’t create backlog for India. Indian people created such backlog by themselves. So, why other people would sacrifice their green card for Indian people?

      • I don’t mind with what you are saying then put the country of 7 percent on new H1B applications too. I am sure you won’t mind that but the same leaders who oppose this bill will not agree to that.

    • Harry,
      They don’t care about people who are in USA legally and paying tax every year adding to US economy. They know we are good people continue to serve this country no matter what we get from them. They want to make all illegal people to legal and give Green card so they get more tax. Even I have growing kids. I don’t think i can afford to pay tuition fee for my kids collage if they are on F1. Make your plans and exit country whenever it is right time. My case I am still in H1B , my kid will come to collage in another 3 years. If I get GC by that time all good, if not I just go back to our country why to continue here when we are sure we don’t have future here. Do not make any investment in this country would be wise choice. Just pay taxes as per rule. I have seen my friend brought house etc.. because of H1B they ended up moving to different place for work started living in rental house and they rented their house to some american who is not paying rent neither vacating house. Now my friend is facing big lawyer fees on top of paying mortgage and rent for house he is living now. Guess what stop complaining analyse situation on your own ,do the best for yourself and your family. I don’t think anyone understand what you are going through.

  5. I respect Durbin

    S.386/H.R. 1044 : Give 90% of all the green card to people from India only for next 10 years. Nobody forced Indian people to come to the USA. They came here in very very large number, created huge backlog and now they are trying to steal green card from rest of the world. Huge respect to Sen. Durbin. After 21 years, kids of H1B holder can go to F1 or any other status if they really want to stay in the USA. If they can’t, that is their fault.

    • How did you come here? Your ancestors here since the last 65000 years?

      Think the reality and I hope you are a grown-up person. Listen to the stories from people who stuck in the green-card line are very well educated from top universities, working in top tech, universities and medical.

      They are contributing to economy and fight for a better place. We should encourage them. If they have gone, we fall. Remember that.

  6. Sreekanth Nair

    Such a hypocrite

  7. Mark Hernandez

    Wow Good decision Sen Durbin. I vote Republican but nice to see some Democrats following the law. Sen Mike Lee needs to be removed

    • Hernandez, any thoughts on your brothers and sisters just walking across the border from Mehico (;) to USA. Do they deserve GC and DACA?

      • Mark Hernandez

        No one rides for FREE. You have to wait in line like the rest and come in legally

        • Ride for Free..!! Are you kidding me..!! We are one of the effluent immigrant of this country..!! Some of the State housing & retail economy runs on there earned income..!! We are One of the largest tax payers..!! And how much wait is good, 10 yr, 50 or 150..!! This is more like racial issue where one community is not allowed to vote because they belong to somewhere..!!

          • Effluent??? That means you pass gas and other objectionable material every day?? Of course you do and everyone knows that. Precisely why we do NOT want you here — pack your bags and go home before you’re deported back forcibly.

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