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Indian immigrants holds rally demanding immigration law reform:

Indian immigrants holds rally demanding immigration law reform

A group of mostly Indians on H1B visas held a rally outside the White House on Wednesday morning. Demand of the group was reforms in immigration law to benefit those in the country legally. The rally was organized by the Republican Hindu Coalition(RHC), which seeks to provide a voice for the Hindu American community.

The equity rally organised by Indian immigrants included women and children. The key goal of the rally was to get Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois. Also the lone senator who has stalled the passing of a bill that would make receiving employment-based green cards a first come first serve system.

Among the demands of the group was that the Green Card backlog be cleared with a period of 1-5 years. The wait time, at present, can run into decades for employment based Green Cards for Indians.

Immigration Voice president, Aman Kapoor said

they are taxpaying law-abiding skilled immigrants who are already in country for many years. These immigrants includes doctors, engineers, scientists and professors. They are stuck in the long green card backlog which will span 150 years. He added that the rally was protesting Senator Durban’s hold on the bill yesterday. And he is making sure that Indian immigrants who are already here would not get equal treatment under the law, which is unfair.

 Country caps for Green Card allotments:

The immigration Voice organisation banded together outside the Capitol on why the ‘Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act’ should be passed. Which is in order to remove the current 7% per-country cap on employment visas. Currently, no country may be allocated more than 7% of the total number of Green Cards granted each year. India, which sends a relatively large number of skilled workers to the U.S. each year. Over 70% of all H1B visas in fiscal year 2018 went to Indians – inevitably uses up all the Green Cards allocated to it.

China, Vietnam and the Philippines are other examples, though excess demand for immigrant visas is far less in these countries. Around 307,000 Indians (compared to 67,000 Chinese citizens) were waiting for Green Cards in May 2018. These don’t include dependent spouses and children whose Green Cards, when granted, also count against the overall cap. The above mentioned statistics is according to US Citizenship and Information Services (USCIS) data.

In 2017, H.R. 392, a bill introduced in the 115th Congress, sought to end the per country cap. Several groups including the American Hospital Association, National Iranian American Council and Canadian Bar Association had raised objections to this. Their concern was that it would crowd out applications from other countries.

 Democratic Senator Kamala Harris and Republican Senator Mike Lee introduced the

Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019. This would eliminate country-caps for employment-based Green Cards and increase the caps from 7% to 15% for family-based Green Cards.

The group also pushed on legal childhood arrivals(LCA) to receive any benefits that individuals brought illegally as minors might receive. Nearly 700,000 such individuals have been protected by a Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The Trump administration has sought to end this program, and the issue is currently in court.

H1B visa-holders, whose children and spouses get H4-dependent visas, are asking that H4 children be given green cards straight away. So they can remain in the US after they turn 21 without having to switch to another visa category. Like a student visa or an H1B visa or having to self-deport.

Senator Durbin hasn’t given any response to the demands of the group yet. But as of now, the High Skilled Immigrants Act has passed the House but not the Senate.

:- by Snehi Suryash