Immigration Voice highlights plight of Indian physicians on the front line of battle against COVID-19.
Dr Santhi Bhushan, an Indian internist practicing in Springfield, Illinois has been clocking in extra hours as he helps fight the COVID-19 epidemic in America.
Currently he is in quarantine after being exposed to the dreaded virus during his service.
Dr Nitesh Jain, a lung specialist and ICU physician, too is working round the clock as the numbers of virus affected people continue to swell across the US.
Dr Jain and Dr Bhushan are among hundreds of Indian physicians working on the front line fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the two are happy to go that extra mile to help the country they are living in during this hour of crisis, they face a difficult reality like many other Indian doctors in America.
Dr Santhi Bhushan will have to wait for nearly 100 years before he can get permanent residency or the green card in the US – a country he has been living in for decades.
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Not just this, his daughter who grew up in Springfield, Illinois will have to self-deport soon as she turns 21 causing family separation.
Similarly, Dr Jain who has spent last one decade serving patients in rural America too faces a similar wait before he gets the green card to call America his permanent home.
Both of these like many other highly skilled professional physicians from India are stuck in a green card backlog.
Their story illustrates the plight of thousands of Indian citizens who face a decades long wait to get the coveted green card due to a seven per cent per country annual limit under the current immigration system. Until then, they lead a life of anxiety and uncertainty.
Immigration Voice, a non-profit working towards alleviating immigration problems faced by immigrants in the US, highlighted the two doctors’ stories to stress the alarming urgency of passing S.386 or Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act.
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Thousands of Indians stuck in the green card backlog have been rooting for S.386, a bill aimed to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The bill seeks to eliminate the per-country numerical limits for employment-based immigrants and increase such limits for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.
“Congress must pass S.386 so Dr Nitesh Jain who is fighting for COVID 19 pandemic is recognized for his skills and contributions to the community instead of being discriminated against for the country he was born in,” the organization tweeted.
Many others related to the two physicians’ plight due to green card backlog.
A Twitter user wrote: “STEM graduates from rest of the world without STEM job get green card in six months. But for Indians it takes hundred years.”
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