America Passes ‘Dreamers’ Bill, Giving Millions of Immigrants Citizenship; But H1B Visa Approvals Down By 10%

Dreamers Bill is approved
Dreamers Bill is approved

The House of Representatives passed a bill on Tuesday, to protect the ‘dreamers’ and establish a path to citizenship for more than 2 million undocumented immigrants, including the ones who were brought to US as children.

With the Trump government already squeezing the intake of immigrants via H1B visas, this bill passing showed a sharp fall of more than 10% in the approval of new and renewal petitions in 2018.

The American Dream and Promise Act 2019

The bill, called the Dream and Promise Act of 2019, passed by the Democratic-led chamber, celebrated a 237-187 vote with seven Republicans joining all Democrats in voting for the bill.

Under this bill, the ‘dreamers’ would receive 10 years of legal residence status, on meet certain requirements. They would also receive permanent green cards after completing at least two years of higher education or military service, or after working for three years. The Obama administration granted work permits to many of them through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program but President Trump ended the program in late 2017.

The bill’s supporters cheered its passage, as immigration advocates have been trying to pass elements of the bill since two decades. The ‘Dreamers’ include 703,890 childhood arrivals, including 2,590 from India.

Trump and Republicans strongly oppose the matter and argue that it would encourage more illegal immigration. The supporters are well aware that even if the bill is passed by the Republican-controlled Senate, President Trump will veto it. They are still pretty boomed to strongly stand on their grounds and try their best to support the cause for passing the bill.

H1B Visa Approvals Drop and How are they Affecting Indians?

After passing of the ‘Dreamers’ bill on Tuesday, reports by the US citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) dated May-end, has shown a 10.2% drop in the number H-1B petitions approved in 2018. The USCIS approved only 335,000 H-1B visas in 2018, while the number was 373,400 in 2017.

Adhering to Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative, the administration has changed the system in many ways, to give more weightage to Americans for jobs in the US, thus squeezing the issuance of H1B visas to foreigners.

The USCIS completed 396,300 H-1B applications in 2018, compared to 403,300 in 2017 and the approval rates of H1B declined from 93% in 2017 to 85% in 2018.  

With changes in policies barring Indians and other foreigners to enter the US for job opportunities and career growth, there is a resultant shift in migration towards countries like Australia, UK, Canada, Norway, Germany and more, giving a strong competition to the US markets.

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