The informal S.386 Diwali greetings campaign is spreading through Facebook and WhatsApp.
As Indians around the world celebrate Diwali, many Indians in America, stuck in the green card backlog, have taken the opportunity to extend some warmth to Illinois Senator Dick Durbin.
An initiative started by some Indians in a few immigration-centric Facebook and WhatsApp groups quickly caught the attention of fellow Indians who thought it would be a great idea not just to introduce the Democrat to the Indian festival but also to show him that they are peaceful and friendly people, who are caught in an unfortunate immigration cycle.
The initiative, which was first started by the admin of the immigration group “H4 and H-1B holders,” was enthusiastically received by many members, who started sending greeting cards addressed to Durbin.
The cards wish the senator and his family a very “Happy Diwali,” followed by a request, “Please support S 386.” The senders, calling themselves members of the Green card backlog community, are then signing the cards with their names.
Among those who sent the cards include Sarika Dutta, who came to the US along with her husband 10 years ago. Under the current process, she says her family is unlikely to get the Green Card in the next four decades. She and her husband sent the card to let Durbin know that a large number of Indian nationals have been affected by the Green Card backlog.
S.386, or “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” is a bill currently before the US Senate that proposes to eliminate the country quota for Green Cards, which has led to a huge backlog for Indian nationals.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), the main sponsor of the bill, has been trying to pass it through a process called “Unanimous consensus.” But because of the objection from Durbin, his Democratic colleague Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, he has been unable to do that.
S.386 continues to face stiff opposition from some workers’ groups who argue that, if enacted, it would give an unfair advantage to Indian nationals.
Indian Green Card hopefuls across the United States, who have been waiting in line for years, have been urging Durbin to end his opposition to S.386.
The US House of Representatives passed a companion bill to S.386 in July with bipartisan support.
— Daya (@Daya83827923) October 26, 2019
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