Immigration lawyer Rahul Reddy also seeks an open discussion on the bill.
If you are an Indian, living and working in the U.S. and currently in line for a green card, it is most likely that you may have got that one WhatsApp message or a Facebook post urging you to call or write to Senator Dick Durbin, Senate Democratic Whip, to remove his hold on S.386.
For the past two months, Indian green card hopefuls, have not only been rallying, protesting and holding marches urging the Illinois Democrat to reverse his current stance on S.386. Many of them have also been calling and personally writing to Durbin, apprising him of their plight, given the current green card backlog, particularly for the Indian community.
In the past couple of months, many immigration activists have formed local support groups, social media chat groups and forums to engage and inform other Indians to gather momentum about the urgency of the issue.
Green card reform supporters feel that for about 50,000 tax-paying, high-skilled, Indians in the U.S., it is about doing every bit to get a chance towards a fair immigration line or to wait for a century or simply put, until they die for the U.S. green card.
A CATO institute analysis that came out earlier this year stated that about 675,000 would-be legal immigrants would die without seeing a green card.
Up until now, Senator Durbin seems unfazed about his stance on the bill and one wonders if the ongoing requests and protests would lead him to lift his hold on the bill.
But immigration lawyer Rahul Reddy has another suggestion for green card hopefuls to work for the passage of S.386. “This situation of thousands of Indians dying without receiving a green card can be resolved,” says Reddy, “If the S.386 passes or the Congress does something about the pending bills.”
“They can cut down on time-limit for employment based immigration or take the per country limit off and pass any version of S. 386 or the already approved H.R. 1044,” he said.
On the current situation of the bill and how Indians may look at tackling it, Reddy noted that Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and David Purdue of Georgia who had earlier put a block on the bill, have overturned their stand after a lot of people approached them. But Democrat Durbin does not seem to be moving on it despite a lot of Indians contacting him,.
“So, my recommendation for everyone who feels about the bill would be to not just press Democrats,” he said noting, “At this point, the senate is controlled by Republicans not by the Democrats.”
“Even if they cannot pass the bill unanimously the Senate has complete authority to discuss this bill and pass it on. They have sufficient votes to get this bill out,” Reddy said..
Noting that Republican Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is not allowing a discussion on the bill, Reddy said, “at this point, I would recommend to the Indian and Chinese community who have been waiting for a long time to contact the senators to have this bill in open discussion.”
“Yes, Indians should pressure Senator Durbin but they should also pressure the Republicans and especially Senator Mitch McConnell who has the authority to bring the bill for an up and down vote.”