Indians rally in California to protest green card wastage

Friday rally in Santa Clara to also support EAGLE Act to phase out green card country caps

Faced with the prospect of about 100,000 green cards going to waste for lack of processing before September end, a group of Indians are holding a protest rally in California on Friday.

The rally in Santa Clara would also support of EAGLE Act (Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment Act of 2021) that seeks to phase out the seven per cent per country cap for employment based visas.

Read: Indians may lose benefit of spillover of 150,000 green cards (July 15, 2021)

How the situation unfolded

Back in October 2020, when the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) started its fiscal year there were 120,000 more green cards than the usual 140,000 that the agency hands out every year.

This prospect seemed like a silver lining for thousands, most of them Indians, waiting for years for their green cards.

However in July, a State Department official revealed that by the end of FY 2021 on Sept 30, about 100,000 green cards will still be lying unused and thus end up going to waste in a huge let down for a lot of Indians working on L-1 work visa in the US.

A few days ago, immigration lawyer Greg Siskind filed a lawsuit in the district court of Maryland against employment-based green card wastage. It asks USCIS to issue green cards to people who filed their applications between October and December 2020.

Dejected by the progress on green card backlogs, Indians taking out a rally in California would also press Congress to move forward on HR 3648 or EAGLE Act that was introduced by congresswoman Zoe Lofgren on June 1, 2021.

The rally wants to draw attention to the fact that there hasn’t been any movement on this bill, while multiple other bills related to DACA, immigrant farmers and undocumented immigrants have been voted in the House and are being considered to be included in the upcoming spending bill.

Netra Chavan, a leading immigration consultant and the brain behind biggest immigration group on social media, is concerned about the current crisis where hard working legal work visa holders stand to lose the opportunity to get a green card.

“Recent processing times delays and increasing workload on USCIS may lead to green card number wastage,” she says. “Consider each number for one individual who is waiting in the green card backlog line for a lifetime now.”

Current administration transferred about 100,000 green cards that would have been wasted by September 30, 2021 back to the Immigrant visa category through the appropriations bill.

The question is why a similar quick action is not being taken towards unused green card numbers from other categories to end the miseries of green card backlog community and help documented dreamers.

Read: EAGLE Act, a game changer for green card backlogs? (June 6, 2021)

“It looks like certain authorities/lawmakers even after understanding the plights of Legal non-immigrants are not helping,” says Chavan.

“Decades old legal Immigrants and skilled foreign workers do not deserve to live in fear of petition denials, fear of visa stamping, fear of losing everything earned in lifetime, fear of their own kids turning 21 and aging-out, of losing job on H4 EAD (dependent visa work permit),” she says.

“Many dread to visit family in their home country. Legal immigrants in the USA are not just revenue generators. For them America is their home.”

On the irony of  the situation, Chavan adds, “Current administration also seeks to legalize undocumented Immigrants while legal immigration is still compromised.

Many applications remain pending to issue EAD cards (work permits) directly impacting taxpayers’ daily routine or job loss. Documented dreamers are not eligible for Social Security Number (SSN) and Driver License too leading to frustrations.

Location: Santa Clara County, California
Date: Friday Aug 13th 2021
Time: Late Morning – Noon
Event Duration: 1-1.5 hrs

Here’s the link for the rally:

Help Stop GCSpill over wastages and Support EAGLE ACT (HR 3648)

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