Senate passes S.386, giving ray of hope for Indian nationals in Green Card backlog

Capitol Hill

If Trump signs the bill, it will end nationality discrimination in Green Card allocation.

In a huge relief for tens of thousands of Indian nationals currently stuck in Green Card limbo, the United States Senate passed the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, or S.386, Wednesday evening.

The bill, better known as S.386, increases the per-country cap on family-based immigrant visas from the current 7 percent of the total number of such visas available in a particular year to 15 percent. Among other things, it also has provisions to:

  • eliminate the present 7 percent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.
  • remove an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.
  • establish transition rules for employment-based visas from fiscal year 2020 to 2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 and EB-3 visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. EB-2 visas are used by workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, while EB-3 are for skilled and other workers. (The two countries with the largest recipients of such visas are India and China.)
  • Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 percent will be allotted to immigrants from any single country.

The US House of Representatives passed the companion bill H.R. 1044 in July 2019. But in the Senate, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has been blocking it.

RELATED: Is Indians Green Card backlog limbo about to end? (December 3, 2020)

In the Senate, the bill was championed by Sen. Mike Lee, a Republican from Utah.

To get the support of Durbin and other critics, a few amendments were made to S.386.

House and Senate leaders will now have to reach a compromise on their differences. The final nod to the bill has to come from President Donald Trump. So far the White House hasn’t given any indication about whether the president will sign the bill or veto it.

The bill’s supporters celebrated the victory on social media.

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way! #S386 finally passes the senate!! Congratulations everyone! We did it!!!” Skilled Immigrants in America, a nonprofit group that advocate “fairness for Americans-in-waiting.”

The organization also thanked Lee, Durbin, Sen. Rick Scott, R-FL, Sen. Tim Cottom, R-AR, and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

However, some immigration experts have tried to temper the expectation, especially because of major differences between the Senate and House bill, which have to be reconciled and voted again.

“Happy that S. 386 has finally passed in the Senate and we’re a step closer to ending nationality discrimination in the visa allocation system,” Memphis, TN, -based immigration lawyer Greg Suskind tweeted.

In a following tweet, he wrote: “Given the late stage here, I would suggest people temper their expectations. Not at all clear what the House thinks about this and how much room there is to tweak if there are changes demanded. Also, we have a President likely to veto anything that is not 100% to his liking.”

RELATED POSTS:

The newly passed H.R.1044 raises caps for family-based green cards (July 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)

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)

 

16 Comments

  1. Senior chief

    Fokers z. Deport all Indians

  2. This is such good news!
    Think of the unlimited possibilities and new ventures, opportunities this will help create!
    Make America Great Again! God Bless America!

  3. Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, or S.386.” This hurts American workers of every race, class, location, and political affiliation.

    S.386 does the following:

    -eliminates the present 7 percent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.

    -removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

    -establish transition rules for employment-based visas from fiscal year 2020 to 2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 and EB-3 visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. EB-2 visas are used by workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, while EB-3 are for skilled and other workers. (The two countries with the largest recipients of such visas are India and China.)

    -Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 percent will be allotted to immigrants from any single country. (source)

    With political “allies” like this, who needs enemies?

    • Senator Lee, and ANYBODY that voted for this needs to be LABELED as ANTI-AMERICAN, because THAT’S what they ARE!
      THROW LEE OUT!!!

  4. We are Graduates from US Universities and working here in US from 2006. We are lawful non-immigrants, paying our taxes to the IRS and helping to strengthen our local communities, to the best of our capacity. Our kids are born in US and now we have more friends and well-wishers in US. We have just our parents living in India.

    we are patiently waiting for a day for than 14 years to say that we belong to US. We never complained for anything and on anyone and never used any shortcuts to live in this country.

    Good and Bad is everywhere. With grateful heart, we would like to thank US for streamlining the broken Immigration system. Love America. Love my fellow brothers and sisters of America . God bless America.

    Together, we can build a great Nation.

  5. Srikrishna Bhagwan

    This is a death Sentence on US Citizens. American kids now have to forget getting jobs in any of the technological companies as most of them will hire these new Green Card Holders. There are huge number of unemployed People who are already Citizens and Green Cards and this bill will simply add more to that list. Just last week almost million applied for Unemployment benefits. Instead of addressing growing unemployment and weak economy , Congress put the last nail in the coffin by passing this Bill. Now only God should help all those Unemployed Americans and the future generation.

    • You can see the other way that the new GC will start a new company and open more jobs for Americans. This is based on the history that most of the big companies were started by immigrants.

    • Just to bash Srikrishnan

      Dude your name looks Indian, not American :) Once you became citizen, suddenly you want your own kinds not to come in anymore?

    • Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, or S.386.” This hurts American workers of every race, class, location, and political affiliation.

      S.386 does the following:

      -eliminates the present 7 percent cap for employment-based immigrant visas.

      -removes an offset that reduced the number of visas for individuals from China.

      -establish transition rules for employment-based visas from fiscal year 2020 to 2022, by reserving a percentage of EB-2 and EB-3 visas for individuals not from the two countries with the largest number of recipients of such visas. EB-2 visas are used by workers with advanced degrees or exceptional ability, while EB-3 are for skilled and other workers. (The two countries with the largest recipients of such visas are India and China.)

      -Of the unreserved visas, not more than 85 percent will be allotted to immigrants from any single country. (source)

      With political “allies” like this, who needs enemies?

    • Go away Srikrishna

      How selfish you are?? Once you became a citizen, you want your peer Indians to go out right? Get well soon.

  6. This is not fairness. The long backlog is caused by abuse of the H1b VISA from Indian. Now they are pushing for more abuse of the Green card system. This not not fair to other countries at all. 75% of the H1Bs are allocated to Indians. Now they want 75% of the Green cards too. What about people from other countries?

  7. Howard Adams

    How much are we charging them for there green cards as long as they are charged the going rate for citizenship and pass there citizenship test read write and speak our language I see no problem.

    But the problem we have now is people do not honor our constitution of the United States and not therebown agenda. Speak the English language and honor the flag of our country.
    And not the one they are leaving behind if that want to honor there old countries flag they can stay there

    • Raseel Mohamed

      I agree that a new citizen should be able to communicate with others. Like for example, in spite of your statement being riddled with grammatical and spelling errors in a matter of four sentences, you did manage to communicate your idea across. I’ll take it, but to force “your” language on everyone else, that I do not agree to.

      Federal US does not recognize English as an official language, but since 300 million plus people speak it and can read and write in it, they go with English for the majority of the government documents. You could ask for the same form in a language of your choice. That, is the beauty of our nation. Inclusion, not exclusion. E Pluribus Unum. “Out of many one”. Even our national motto is in Latin. Going by that, I would say that Spanish, Italian, French, Portuguese should be the official language of US, because they are the descendants of Latin. English is a mixture of German, Flemish and Danish.

      So let’s not rush to pass judgement on others. Give them opportunities so they can also meld into our nation’s fabric.

      • Looks like we have a grammar nazi over here. While it’s true that the USA has no official language we do, in fact speak English. We don’t need 15 hundred forms for each individual that refuses to assimilate. In fact, if you don’t want to assimilate, don’t come here. Imagine us going to another country and demanding everyone speak English, and accuse them of not being “inclusive” when they push back. Yeah…. That’s how you sound. Assimilation does not mean you forget where you came from. It simply means that now that you’re here, do things the American way. Love it or leave it!

      • Venkatesh Venugopalan

        Such an awesome and intellectual response.

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