Amazon seeks green card allocation to help immigrant employees

Asks USCIS to administer all available green cards before the Sep 30 deadline

Taking up the cause of many of its immigrant employees stuck in the green card backlog, e-commerce major Amazon has strongly urged US authorities to issue all available green cards by the Sep 30 deadline.

Immigrants faced long waits for green cards before 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic created even greater delays, Beth Galetti, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Amazon wrote in a post on the company website.

Read: Tech giants want US to let foreign workers’ adult kids stay (June 9, 2022)

In fact, more than 65,000 employment-based green cards went unused in 2021, she noted. In 2022, Congress allotted 281,000 employment-based green cards, but more than 100,000 still needed to be adjudicated as of June 30,” Galetti said.

“We are thankful for all of the efforts that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has taken to date, including granting over 176,000 green cards through June 30.”

But a large backlog remains ahead of the September deadline. If the green cards are not used, they are not transferred or added to next year’s count, she noted. Amazon employees affected by the backlog already live in the US and contribute to local economies, Galetti said.

“Allocating green cards not only benefits those immigrant employees and their families, it economically and culturally enriches US companies, neighborhoods, and regions,” she said.

Read: ‘Immigration plays a positive role in strengthening America’s workforce’ (June 17, 2022)

“To support our teams and communities, Amazon continues to reach out directly to USCIS, the agency within the Department of Homeland Security that administers green cards,” Galetti wrote “strongly urging the agency to issue all green cards by the deadline.”

“We know that this backlog has a big impact on our employees’ lives and families, which is why we have also offered to help USCIS resolve these cases and efficiently eliminate the backlog,” she wrote. “We hope USCIS will take the important and urgent step of allocating all green cards for this year.”

“Amazon is proud to hire people from around the world, and we’re passionate about supporting our employees and their families—including those who have immigrated to the US and want permanent residency,” Galetti wrote. “However, we know that many of those employees are stuck in the green card backlog.”

“That’s why we are advocating on behalf of our employees and their families ahead of September 30—the federal government’s deadline for processing green card applications this year.”

Read: Amazon offers to help government on green card allocation ahead of deadline (August 8, 2022)

With more than 100,000 green cards yet to be adjudicated as of June end, several other leading US companies are likely to follow Amazon in seeking allocation of all green cards before the deadline.

As Indians make up more than 80 percent of those waiting for their green card, employment-based green card wastage disproportionately impacts the Indian diaspora in the US, more than any other group.

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