Connecticut state legislators Matt Lesser and Kerry Wood will be present at the march that will protest against long work permit delays.
It has been a tough pandemic period for families across the United States and the world. And for families that have had members lose their job during these times, the going has been particularly rough. Thousands of people, most of whom are women, on the dependent H-4 visa are experiencing work permit extension delays forcing them to leave their jobs.
The issue is being brought into the fore by advocacy organizations, volunteers, lawyers, individuals and now some U.S. politicians, forcing the administration to take note of this immigration issue. The issue got national attention twice in the past week.
On Wednesday, a reported asked White House Press Secretary Psaki about reasons for huge delays in issuing H-4 and L-2 EADs. On March 17, Rep. Bonnie Watson, a New Jersey Democrat, raised the issue at a hearing attended by Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas.
A timeline and history of H-4 EAD (January 27, 2021)
Now advocacy group organization SaveH4EAD, which has organized two marches on the West Coast in the past few weeks, will organize another rally on Saturday, March 27, at Rocky Hill, CT.
“It hurts to see highly skilled, hardworking and law abiding women who have contributed to the American economy to lose their jobs,” Connecticut resident and lead organizer of the march Sandhya told the American Bazaar. “H4EAD gives is financial independence, allows us to provide for our kids with a better life and also give back to our communities.”
Billed “#SheBelongsHere,” the march is being held during the Women’s History Month, to highlight the unjust reason mostly women are being forced out of their jobs. To show their support for immigrant women of color, state Sen. Matt Lesser and state Rep. Kerry Wood will join the march.
SaveH4EAD said the H4EAD delays are forcing skilled immigrant women out of their livelihoods. Women in key occupations such as doctors, nurses, frontline workers, scientists, social workers and small business owners are forced to give up their jobs, it said.
On Friday, a day ahead of the march, volunteers of SaveH4EAD also met with Rep. John Larson, D-CT, to discuss the delays in processing of work authorization applications. During the meeting. the volunteers explained to the congressman about the recent policy changes by USCIS that have led to this humanitarian crisis.
Larson offered to bring up the issue with the Department of Homeland Security during an upcoming hearing. He also promised to discuss the issue internally with his immigration leads at his D.C. office and also informed that he would take it up to Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy’s office, too.
The march will be held at 761, Old Main St. Rocky Hill, CT 06067 on March 27, 4.00-5.00 PM ET.
H-4, L-2 EAD visa extension backlogs may take years to clear out, say attorneys (February 28, 2021)
Biometrics requirement lengthens H4 EAD processing time considerably (August 12, 2019)
Houston law firm sues USCIS over delay in H4 extension, H4 EAD (June 10, 2019)
DHS to introduce biometric system to cut visa overstays (May 26, 2017)