Immigration Voice says it wants to protect future Indian immigrants from endless Green Card wait.
Every year, over hundreds of thousands of Indians apply for H-1B or other employment-based visas to fulfill their dream of living and working in the United States. This fiscal year has already seen 184,000 Indians apply for an H-1B visa, making up to 67 percent of the entire number of applicants from around the world who hoped to secure a US visa.
A statistic made even more impressive when considering it happened in a year when the Trump administration had put intense scrutiny on legal immigration, too. The numbers alone indicate the lure of living the American Dream among Indians. However, what many Indians who are yet to arrive in the US do not realize is that an endless wait and uncertainty await them due to per country caps on Green Card.
Immigration Voice, a non-profit, representing Indian high-skilled immigrants stuck in employment based Green Card backlogs, released a statement on Wednesday saying that new H-1B visas should not be issued until the discriminatory per-county limits on Employment-Based Green Cards are finally lifted and immigrants from India are no longer treated as indentured servants in the United States.
Aman Kapoor, President of San Jose, California,-based Immigration Voice, shared with the American Bazaar, “As we speak, the non-partisan Congressional Research Service tells us that this discriminatory and arbitrary cap on the number of Indian nationals who can receive lawful permanent residency each year has created a backlog of over 1 million people waiting for Green Cards, with a wait time of over 195 years. In fiscal year 2030, the line is expected to grow to 436 years. A majority of the Green Card backlog consists of women and children, who will eventually die in these backlogs.
Needless to say, the per-country limits on the employment-based green card system are, in fact, 100%, an “Indian Exclusion Act.”
Kapoor and his organization believes that bringing in newer Indians only adds more people to suffer the same cycle without first solving the problem at hand. He adds, “Almost every day, we hear reports that one of our members has died while in the backlog, leaving their spouse and children without immigration status such that they must immediately self-deport to India or face actual deportation or life in illegal status.”
Hundreds of thousands of those working on H-1B in America live under the fear of losing their legal status. Seattle resident Nishi Priya, who is working on a H-4 visa, says, “Friends and family back in India, have begun questioning us on our future as by now all of them know that we have a wait time of several decades before we can secure a green card. The only reason we are staying put in America is because sometimes we see glimmer of hopes that per country cap ruling will go away. The truth is, until that happens, we are living a life of uncertainty, I wouldn’t advise anybody new to get into.”
Kapoor adds, “This year, Immigration Voice is now calling on the Biden Administration to use its authority under INA Section 212(f) to exclude any new individual born in India who are not currently in the United States legally from obtaining a new H-1B visa for the first time in Fiscal Year 2022. Moreover, Immigration Voice calls to stop issuing such new H-1B visas until the discriminatory per county limits on Employment-Based Green Cards are finally lifted.”
The new H-1B cap season for the fiscal year 2022 starts on March 9 and continue till March 25 of next.