Bill to scrap per-country green card cap passes House with bipartisan support

Amid a backlog that sees some candidates prepared a very long time for green taking part in playing cards, 140 Republican members of Congress joined 224 Democrats and handed a bill Wednesday to end the per-country cap on green taking part in playing cards.

The “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act,” launched in February by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), would throw out the annual 7 p.c cap on green taking part in playing cards for residents of any one nation. The change may very well be phased in over three years if the measure passes the Senate and is signed into regulation by President Donald Trump.

“In order for American industries to remain competitive and create more jobs, they must be able to recruit and retain the best talent in the world,” Lofgren said in a data launch Wednesday.

She added in an interview after the vote, “If you’ve got your application approved based on merit, the color of your skin or the place of birth should not be the determinant.”

Citizens of India and China working inside the U.S., plenty of whom are on the H-1B visa meant for highly-skilled workers, face the longest green card waits.

Under Lofgren’s bill, by means of the primary 12 months of implementation, a most 85 p.c of green taking part in playing cards might very properly be allotted to Indian or Chinese residents. In the second and third years, which will rise to 90 p.c.

David North, a fellow on the Center for Immigration Studies, which lobbies for decreased immigration, said in a weblog put up that huge winner beneath the bill may very well be wealthy Chinese on the EB-5 investor visa, alongside with many Indians on the H-1B visa, plus essential tech companies utilizing huge numbers of Indian residents on the H-1B. American workers, North said, may very well be among the many many largest losers, competing for jobs in opposition to abroad nationals.

On one stage, Lofgren is in a settlement with North, who described H-1B holders as “semi-indentured workers” on account of their visas are tied to a specific employer.

According to Lofgren, “Workers that are in a temporary status are more vulnerable to exploitation than workers that have a status that allows them to negotiate or move to other employers.”

Lofgren estimated that if the bill has been to go, it is going to take shut to a decade for green card waits to equalize amongst fully totally different worldwide places. North said that further immediately, decreasing wait situations for some abroad residents would suggest longer delays for others, collectively with Canadians and Argentinians.

The bill would moreover elevate the per-country cap for family-sponsored green taking part in playing cards to 15 p.c from 7 p.c.

Lofgren said she was “cautiously optimistic” the bill would go the Senate, as senators in support of the bill are working to persuade skeptics. As for whether or not or not Trump would sign the bill, Logren well-known it is unusual backing. “It’s one of those rare things when it comes to immigration where there’s broad bipartisan support,” Lofgren said.

The bill would not enhance normal green card numbers. Lofgren helps an increase to the number of green taking part in playing cards, nonetheless said there’s not bipartisan backing for that.

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