Hundreds stuck in Green Card backlog stage protest in front of restaurant hosting Durbin event

Sen. Dick Durbin is surrounded by Indian nationals stuck in Green Card backlog.
Sen. Dick Durbin is surrounded by Indian nationals stuck in Green Card backlog.

Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian tech professional Srinivas Kuchibhotla, speaks at the rally.

Cold weather may have come knocking for Chicagoans a little early this year, but the wind and the chill did not deter hundreds of Indian nationals who gathered in the city for a community rally to protest against Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin’s decision to block a Senate bill that would remove country quota in allocating Green Cards.

Hundreds of Indians stuck in a green card backlog attended the rally on November 3, in front of O’Donovan’s restaurant in Northern Chicago where Durbin hosted a fundraiser. Many had brought along their school- and college-going children for the march titled, “Stand for Equality.” The participants held banners and placards urging Durbin to reconsider his block on S.386, or the “Fairness for Immigrants Act 2019.”

Tens of thousands of Indian nationals have been building up the momentum to raise awareness about the Green Card backlog that specifically affects them.

ALSO READ: Indian software engineer in Green Card backlog dies suddenly, leaving pregnant wife out of status

Nita Kumar, a Chicagoan who attended the protest, said that she made it a point to participate in the protest because, as a community, “we wanted to send a message” Durbin that “we are not going anywhere, we want to be heard and we want people to know that there is a lot of angst and frustration in the community.” She added, “We are not asking for any additional Green Cards. All we are saying is that that employment based Green Cards should be merit-based and not based on country of origin.”

Despite the cold, the crowd remained at the venue for two hours with flags and banners. Children shouted slogans such as, “Treat us equal, not separate; Pass 386; We love Illinois and We love USA.”

Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian tech professional Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot dead by a white nationalist in Kansas two years ago, addressed the gathering. She has been actively campaigning for fair immigration policies in the US since her husband’s tragic killing.

Sahil Singh, one of the attendees, said it was Dumala’s efforts that served as an inspiration. “It was so powerful to see her rise above her personal tragedy and be there for everyone going through immigration crisis,” he said.

Nita Kumar agreed. “When you see someone overcome personal loss and still have the courage to stand with everyone else to help them, you know it’s not your cause alone,” she said. “We all know, when Dumala suffered such a massive loss, she also had to deal with the legalities of immigration during her period of bereavement.”

ALSO READ: Indian H-1B holders stuck in Green Card limbo send Diwali greetings to S.386 opponent Sen. Dick Durbin

Aman Kapoor, a representative of Immigration Voice, a nonprofit helping high-skilled future Americans, said events such as these are important. “There are so many misconceptions and ignorance about S.386 that we need to come out and tell the world that all we are demanding is equality.”

He added: “Consider this: An unborn child, from a country like Paraguay or Uruguay, can get a Green Card sooner, if he were to apply than an Indian high-skilled professional who is currently in line for Green Card.”


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)


  1. Funny how fraudsters sorry I meant Indians never made a peep when they monopolized as much as 80% of all H1B visas bringing in cheap, low skilled entry QA analysts in droves while excluding actual talent from ROW, but now when it comes time to reap what they sow they cry foul. What a spectacularly greedy, conniving, and just downright nasty group of hateful people. Glad the system actually works and is forcing them to wait their turn. Don’t like it? Don’t come to America. Remember, you are our GUESTS here, you begged to COME to our country, not the other way around. We don’t NEED you nor do we WANT you here. If you don’t like our rules you’re free to leave anytime – the door’s that way.

    • Reddy Hydrabaddy

      Well said. America is fed up of these imposters, posing as “geniuses”. Clearly they wouldn’t need to fake resumes, obtain visas fraudulently, and hog all types of jobs if they were ANY good at their work. They could very well have improved their own country.

  2. 1- There must be similar cap for work visas too to stop or slow down the influx of Indians.
    2- There must be a strict background and history checks about the applicants regarding applying through false resumes, paying and purchasing visas from the countries
    3- Proper LCAs should be applied while working for clients
    4- monopoly must be broken. discrimination must be ended, as where they go, they don’t let others come in.

    All these companies who have laid off American workers in the favor of indian offshore team must be asked to provide the reports of how much it benefited US economy.

  3. The Indian backlog was caused by excessive FRAUD. If their bill S386 were to pass, no one from any country would be able to come here until the Indian backlog clears-over 7 years! This is not fair to the rest of the world, just because Indian IT H1B workers have gamed the system.

  4. People have limited time. Everyone’s contribution and wait time to get GC and citizenship should be equal.

  5. Please support Merit based Immigration and FIFO.

  6. This country’s major population is from non contributing categories. Whole world follows Merit based Immigration USA Immigration is the other way. Giving GC like charity will not do any good to the US. Please bring more contributing immigrants and who has respect for this country. Everyone should have equal wait time. Giving immediate GC is not good. Please fix loopholes and make Immigration fair.

  7. Gr8 Job..!! Wondering if he spoke to gave any indication ?

  8. Dick Gandubaba

    All indians should be deported immediately. They do not deserve to be in the USA just look at their behavior!! Stop harassing the senators, and lawmakers. I am glad he stopped the bill. STOP all immigration from INDIA. Their telgus and gujjus and others have simply made a mess of this whole country!! Just look at New Jersey , New York and California ……….. horrible places to live, crowded, indians everywhere, running you over with their car, and always trying to put down others!! Those people (?) not fit to live in any community.

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