Indian American health workers protest green card backlog

‘Inhumane green card backlog adversely affecting Covid Warriors and other immigrants from India.

Indian American frontline healthcare workers facing decades long wait for green cards due to a seven percent country cap for all nations big or small held a silent demonstration in front of the US Capitol.

In a twitter post Thursday, Frontline Healthcare Workers in Greencard Backlog @frontline_in asked people to join them in Washington DC to “protest against 150 years of greencard backlog.”

“Remember the great John Lewis said ‘When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.”

RELATED: Hundreds of Coronavirus fighting Indian doctors stuck in green card backlog (March 18, 2020)

They held banners saying “Covid Warriors Are: Dying in green card backlog; facing aging out children; Going thru family separation. Separate Not Equal.”

Two children held posters saying, “My parents are Covid Warriors. If they die, I get deported. I lived all my life in USA. Is this ‘compassionate’ immigration, Mr Biden. End green card backlog now.”

Indian professionals are the worst sufferers of the current system as they make up about 68 percent or 800,000 of over 1.2 million people stuck in green card backlog, according to an April 2020 US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) report.

“Infectious disease and Critical care doc. US trained temporary alien doctor for 11 years and counting. Stuck in 195 years of greencard backlog,” Dr Raj Karnatak, an infectious disease and critical care physician, one of the organizers of the protest tweeted.

READ: Waiting for the Wait to End: The human face of Indian immigrants caught in the Green Card backlog (December 4, 2018)

“We are frontline Covid warriors, and we are here to tell how we have been short changed into a life of perpetual indentured servitude. Each of us has a story,” he and Dr Pranav Singh, a pulmonary and critical care physician, stated.

“We are here from all over the country asking for justice. Justice that has precluded us for decades now,” they said noting, “Most of us are from India.”

“We trained in the US and took oath as physicians to serve the sick and needy. Most of us are serving the rural and underserved areas.

“We are in a Green Card backlog due to archaic country caps that allow no country to get more than seven percent of employment-based green cards,” the statement added.

Replying to @raj_karnatak@frontline_in and 10 others, The H1B Guy@TheH1BGuy tweeted, “Very proud of you! It’s a shame it has come to this!”

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

Karnatak and Singh pointed out that India is a land of more than a billion people, but the number of green cards India gets is the same as a country as small as Iceland.

In recent years, Indian professionals have been getting about two thirds of 85,000 H-1B visas issued annually to high skilled foreign workers.

But since here is no country cap on the H-1B visa, it creates an inhumane green card backlog, which is adversely affecting frontline healthcare workers and other immigrants from India, they said.

“Frontline healthcare workers need immediate relief, they are suffering for a very long time. As frontline healthcare workers who are risking their lives in this pandemic, the least we deserve is a certainty.”

“A certainty that if we die or get disabled, our children and spouses won’t be kicked out of the country,” Karnatak and Singh stated.


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)

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)

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