Many believe that Indians have been trying to demand an unfair lion’s share in the existing green card distribution system.
From Indians asking to double the H-1B visas to Indian nationals claiming the entire limit of green cards in a year, S.386 or the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act 2019 seems to have attracted a lot of myths around it.
Ohio based, Niraj Shah, has been working in the energy sector for a decade now in the US. He has been working for the same employer for all these years and remains in the line for green card. Recently during a casual lunch in the office, he was stumped to find himself at the receiving end from his colleagues on the issue of S. 386.
Many of them believed that Indians have been trying to demand an unfair lion’s share in the existing green card distribution system. He says, “My colleagues are from a range of countries from Middle East to Nordic countries to local Americans but I was surprised to know that not one of them understood what S.386 was all about. I was fielded unfair questions such as Indians want to double the H-1B quota and that’s why there are supporting S.386 to some others who thought that Indians want to be the sole recipients of all employment based green cards. I had to explain to them that on the contrary, it is the Indians who are the worst sufferers of the current immigration system.”
The Bill introduced by Senator Mike Lee of Utah earlier this year, seeks to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act by eliminating the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants.
The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, seeks to eliminate the 7 percent cap for employment based visas. But what many may not know is that the bill also increases the per-country cap on family based visas from 7 percent to 15 percent. It also removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
The fact that a large number of Indians are lobbying for the passage of S.386 has left many who may be unfamiliar with the immigration rules of the country confused that the bill only proposes to turn things up for Indians.
Sumedha S. who is on a H-4 EAD in the Bay Area says, “Being in the Silicon Valley, you are surrounded by so many Indian tech workers anyway. Some of my colleagues have often mentioned in passing that if S.386 comes into effect, may be the other nationals would have to ask for jobs and permits from Indians to work or stay in the US. It is an ignorant comment but also one loaded with a lot of betterment towards Indian workers. I believe the primary task should also be to educate people on how S.386 does not unfairly target other nationalities who may be in the line for green card.”
Plagued by a lot of cynicism, the S.386 is attracting a lot of fake news around itself. Earlier this month, Senator Mike Lee himself shared a press release titled – ‘Fighting Fake News on H-1B Reform.’ A lot of confusion about S 386 also stemmed when TV commentator Lou Dobbs suggested that S. 386 would double the H-1B visas. Sen. Lee’s press release addressed the issue, saying: “I 100% agree with the White House that the H-1B program should not be used to displace or replace American workers. That is why S. 386 contains strong new anti-fraud provisions to make sure employers cannot abuse the H-1B system to undercut American workers.”
“S. 386 is also ‘number neutral’, meaning it does not increase the number of visas, H-1B or otherwise in anyway, and under no circumstances will it become a vehicle for increasing overall immigration levels. What it does do is end the discriminatory current policy that punishes green card applicants from large countries. Our immigration system should not be in the business of discriminating against immigrants based on their country of origin and S. 386 solves that problem.”
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)