Raja Krishnamoorthi seeks lawmakers’ support for move to help Indians stuck in line ‘due to country-based discrimination’
Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi is seeking support of his Congressional colleagues to address the employment-based green card backlog as part of budget reconciliation.
The Democratic House member from Illinois wants lawmakers to join him in sending a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer for this purpose.
“Any package that addresses longstanding immigration priorities must include relief for the approximately 1.2 million individuals unable to receive a green card primarily due to country-based discrimination,” he says.
Indians make up more than 60 percent immigrants stuck in a decades long wait for green cards due to a seven percent country cap for all nations big or small.
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“I am pleased that tackling our broken immigration system is part of the budget reconciliation discussion,” said Krishnamoorthi in a missive to fellow lawmakers.
“However, it is imperative any immigration package include provisions to address the employment-based green card backlog, which is damaging American competitiveness and abandoning 1.2 million people to perpetual nonimmigrant status.
“I call on my colleagues to immediately raise this important issue with leadership and ensure that relief for backlogged high-skilled workers is included in the final package. Our economic recovery from Covid-19 depends on it.”
“Indian nationals face a particularly daunting backlog of 80 years,” says the draft letter that Krishnamoorthi along with fellow Democrats Kathy Manning and Deborah Ross propose to send in a week’s time.
“Under current law, the American economy is unable to access the full international talent pool of high-skilled workers already present and working in the United States today,” notes the letter.
“Indeed, the very scientists, inventors, health care workers, entrepreneurs, and other professionals that give the United States its edge over its global competitors today,” the lawmakers write.
“This is because there is effectively a Green Card ban on high-skilled immigrants from India, China, and other countries with large populations of workers eager to remain in America and power forward our economy and social safety net programs for generations to come,” the letter says.
“Right now, no more than seven percent of employment-based green cards are available to individuals from a single country, which has created a decades-long backlog for would-be immigrants from India and China.
“Indian nationals face a particularly daunting backlog of 80 years, and an anticipated 200,000 will die before achieving lawful permanent resident status,” it says.
“This arbitrary cap is keeping some of the world’s most talented individuals from permanently calling America home, encouraging them to take their inventions, expertise, and creativity to other countries instead,” they say.