Green Card backlog community disappointed immigration not on Trump-Modi agenda

Indians in America have been lobbying for S.386, a bill to remove Green Card country caps.

Sharmishta Dutt, a 33-year-old homemaker in Philadelphia, came to the US three-years-ago on a an H-4 visa for dependent spouses after getting married.

Every morning, these days, she carefully pores over the newspapers to read everything about President Donald Trump’s February 24-25 visit to India.

“I try to read everything including business and foreign affairs pages to learn about the topics that will be discussed by the two leaders during this visit,” she says.

ALSO READ: Now ‘Namaste Trump’ instead of ‘Kem Chho Trump’ (February 17, 2020)

However, she is disappointed that there is no word about  immigration reforms in the US, especially for the highly qualified H-1B community that is suffering because of the green card backlog, on the agenda of Trump’s summit with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“We would have really appreciated if Modi had also planned to discuss about the NRI community in the US and the problems they are facing,” Dutt said.

President Trump would be arriving directly from Washington in Ahmedabad in Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Feb 24 to receive a grand welcome at a ‘Namaste Trump’ mega event billed as India’s answer to ‘Howdy Mody’ event in Houston during Modi’s US visit last September. The two leaders would then fly to New Delhi for official talks.

RELATED: ‘Kem Chho Trump’ India’s answer to ‘Howdy Modi’ in Houston  (February 13, 2020)

While a lot is being written about ongoing India-US trade talks and how preparations are underway in Ahmedabad for the Trump visit, the green card backlog community in the US feels disappointed that their issues are not being put forth during diplomatic parleys between the two countries.

Nikita Kumar, another Indian stuck in green card backlog says, “We understand that this visit is primarily centered around trade deals, but somewhere the Indian community that is contributing immensely to the American economy feels the need to be represented.

“We would have liked the Indian leaders to also address the massive green card backlog and how it Is affecting healthy immigration from India to the US,” she said.

RELATED: President Trump to visit India on February 24-25  (February 10, 2020)

Similar sentiment of being left out was also felt after the mega-successful ‘Howdy Modi’ event in Houston. While many praised the Indian American achievements being acknowledged on stage, there was no mention of the hardships of Indians on temporary work visas in the US.

Indians in America have been lobbying for the passage of S.386, a bill that aims at ending per country cap on green cards for allowing them to be issued on merit.

Many Indians including physicians and engineers are looking at a backlog spanning several decades before they can get permanent residency in the US.

Many others also fear that their dependent children would lose out on their visa status once they turn 18 hence creating family separation. Many of these children have lived in the US since they were toddlers and do not know any other country as their home.

(Some names in story have been changed on request)


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. PM Modi wants you to come back to India and contribute to build Indian economy not US.

  2. whats there to be disappointed about? why the need to become US Permanent residents? once i-140 is processed you can any way work infinitely in US except H4 visa ? This problem is bought by Indians of over applying and destroying quotas of other countries too.

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