The existing Green Card backlog seems to result in a fiasco since there is no clarity on how the increasing logjam of Green Card applications would be cleared in the Securing America’s Future Act legislation which was brought to the US House of Representatives in January 2018, proposing a remarkable 45% increase in the annual allotment of Green Cards.
Thanks to a group of Indian Americans for having launched a nationwide campaign for the sake of Green Card applicants, including Indian techies on H1B visa in the USA! The campaign is aimed at creating awareness about the possible consequences of the mounting Green Card backlog in the current and the near future scenario.
The current logjam is trying the patience of some 300,000 high-skilled Indian professionals, according to the campaign statement on GCReforms.org, a newly launched portal by some eminent members of the Indian community in the US. The skilled professionals from India applying for Green Cards are made to wait anywhere between 25-92 years for legal permanent residency owing to per-country caps.
The nationwide campaign to create awareness about the challenges faced by Indian professionals in the USA and garner support to resolve it came in response to no mention of the Green Card backlog in the latest White House plan or President Trump’s new immigration framework.
Currently, some 20,000 Indian physicians including those who offer Medicare and Medicaid services, and those treating underserved patients are stuck in the Green Card backlog due to the long wait time. “We are seeking a fair green card allocation process to support not only physicians but also engineers and other high-skilled professionals from India,” said Sampat Shivangi, President of GCReforms.org.
Kiran Kumar Thota, one of the founding members of GCReforms, said that the Green Card backlog needs to be eliminated as it affects the US economy and slows down innovation in America. Indeed, those stuck in the Green Card quandary cannot think of innovation and job creation in the US under the constant fear of having to leave America on a short notice.
Indians are hired based on skill, but get permanent residence based on country of birth. The per country limits treat each nation equally, but not each immigrant equally. It is equality in theory but inequality in practice. The 7% limit for green cards is arbitrary and unfair, when 60% of visas are issued to the same country causing the backlog. (Source: GCReforms.org)
Many Indian professionals affected by Green Card backlog cannot take investment decisions in India or USA because of uncertainties about their future. They are not able to realize their potential to the fullest for the growth of US economy. Some have left the United States and created startups in India. The founders of GCReforms opine that a fair green card allocation process is a pressing need of the time to produce another Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Indra Nooyi, Vivek Wadhwa or Shantanu Narayen.
One of the worst consequences of Green Card backlog is that kids who are born US citizens may be forced to leave America if the logjam is not cleared. Currently, some 40,000 H4 dependent first-generation Indian American children are on the verge of age-out and under the fear of deportation from the United States.
We at Indian Eagle are sanguine about the awareness campaign ‘GCReforms’ against Green card logjam because if there were no movement by Indian Americans, the Diwali postal stamp would have not been released in 2016.
Immigration Voice, a Washington-based advocacy group and non-profit organization, has proposed an additional one-time fee for Green Card applicants to pay for lawful permanent residency in the USA. The proposal requires those applying for a Green Card to pay USD 2500 as a one-time fee which will be utilized for various security reforms in the US, including the ongoing construction of the wall along the US-Mexico border.