The Eliminating Backlogs Act of 2023 â€œwould give greater flexibility to use existing allotted work visas,â€ the lawmakers say.
A bipartisan bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 10, to eliminate backlogs in green card processing and make sure that employment-based visas allocated under current law are fully utilized.
The Eliminating Backlogs Act of 2023, introduced by Reps. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and Larry Bucshon (R-IN), â€œwould give greater flexibility to use existing allotted work visas that employers desperately need,â€ a press release issued by the two lawmakers said.
â€œEven as our countryâ€™s high-skilled immigration system helps us draw top talent from around the world, current law caps the number of employment-based visas available based on workersâ€™ country of origin, leaving thousands of visas that would otherwise help our economy unused,â€ the Indian American Democrat said. â€œIâ€™m proud to partner with Congressman Bucshon on this legislation to end country-based discrimination in high-skilled immigration to ensure we use every allotted visa to draw skilled workers from across the globe to help strengthen our economy and create jobs while we also continue to invest in our domestic workforce.â€
Bucshon, a physician who represents Indianaâ€™s 8thÂ district, said due to bureaucratic policies and delays hundreds of thousands of visas that should have been allocated â€œfor skilled workers, such as doctors and engineers, to ensure our workforce can meet the demands of our economy in Indiana and across the countryâ€ are unfortunately not utilized.
According to the release, due to a per-country cap â€” which limitsÂ only seven percent of employment-based visa any given year to citizens of a country â€” andÂ bureaucratic delays, more than 66,000 employment-based visas could not be allocated in the fiscal year 2021. A year prior to that, in the fiscal year 2020, roughly 9,100 such visas were not utilized.
â€œI am proud to work with my colleague, Rep. Krishnamoorthi, to put forward a bill to help eliminate this backlog and ensure that visas allocated under existing federal immigration law can be properly used.Â Â This will help support an immigration system that incentivizes and rewards legal applicants and boosts our economy,â€ the Republican said.