Stop new H-1B visas to Indians not in US till country quota on Green Cards is lifted: Immigration Voice

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.

READ: Immigration Voice lobbying for automatic extension of H-1B, H-4 EAD for one year during COVID-19 crisis (March 25, 2020)

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.

One Comment

  1. BTW – highly recommend the book “A Testament of Hope”. Let’s all read it so we can begin cooperating on fixing this system for lasting and positive and loving benefit of all people.

    The DOJ indictment of Facebook, for 2600+ counts of fraud in the PERM process (over just 1.5 year period), tell us a great deal about why there is a huge back log of workers in the Green Card cue.

    Facebook protected foreign workers from local competition during the PERM process by hiding the PERM job ads in just 2 print editions of the Sunday SF Chronicle. Facebook refused the free offer of the Chronicle to put the job ads on the Chronicle website. Facebook did not post the job ads on its own website.

    For the STEM/IT jobs that Facebook does put onto its own website. Facebook receives hundreds of resumes from local STEM/IT workers. Of these hundreds, Facebook says it routinely finds 30 or more fully qualified local STEM/IT candidates, that it would hire, except that is has only one job opening.

    Facebook deliberately did not forward the resumes of the 29+ qualified STEM/IT workers it could not hire, to the hiring managers in the PERM process. Facebook says (and this is in the indictment) the jobs being done by the foreign workers are easier than the jobs that local STEM/IT workers had applied for (and that Facebook would have hired, had it more “Open” jobs that local (Americans) were being allowed to apply for).

    The DOJ indictment states that the motivation for this fraud (on Federal forms) is because a foreign workers are trapped in the Green Card cue, cannot leave the company until the Green Card is issued.

    Now we need to be sensible, loving, and caring about this.

    1. Companies should be required to utilize any (and all) free electronic advertising that is offered to them (for example the Chronicle’s free offer and Facebook’s own website) when doing the PERM process.

    2. Foreign workers should not be allowed to reapply an infinite number of times in the PERM process (should be limited to 2 tries, followed by a some multi-year timeout, presumably to learn another skill actually in demand and not locally available).

    3. Workers should be able to take their place in the Green Card wait cue, with them, when they leave a company. (something we can all agree with). It is immoral to deny any American (and Americans include all workers, including those waiting for a Green Card) their 13th amendment rights.

    If we did these 3 things, then changing from the current Green Card system (a system designed to promote diversity), to one that is designed to be based upon position in the cue, well then (and only then) would it make sense.

    But we have to be careful. There are powerful economic and political interests here. And they tend to result in incomplete and nonsensical reforms, that leave us worse off then no change at all.

    It is wrong to keep people in a Green Card cue (forever) and as such tied to a company (forever). A very moral change would be to at least give Green Card holders the right to move on from a company, and keep their place in the Green Card cue. Doing #3, while have some moral weight we cannot deny, also carries with it the fact that foreign workers are often protected from actually have to compete with local workers (which is also wrong, making the Green Card process, the de-facto American exclusion act, the Facebook DOJ indictment shows that this is in fact the case).

    We need all 3. With all 3 we can ensure that we are getting people into our economy that are actually needed (that’s what employement based Green Cards are about). And make sure that we are utilizing local STEM/IT resources (Facebook admits it finds 30x more local candidates for advanced STEM/IT jobs then it can actually hire).

    The DOJ indictment of Facebook contains information that was gathered under penalty of a felony prison sentence for obstruction of justice. That indictment is online, you can find it at the DOJ website.

    As much as industry has hyped the meme that there is a worker shortage. The truth is that in-demand companies such as Facebook not facing any kind of a STEM/IT worker shortage. In fact, for companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook (companies that can pay well and are stable/profitable) there is actually a GLUT of local STEM/IT workers in the United States.

    By giving custody of the Green Card process to the worker (where it always should have been). Foreign workers who are not actually better qualified than local STEM/IT workers (and the DOJ indictment says Facebook admits this) could be free to join a start-up or ideally start their own company. As it currently stands, that talent is trapped by in-demand tech companies to the detriment of the workers and the American economy.

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