Powerful NRI Lobby Urge Joe Biden To Stop H1B Visa For Indians Till This Happens
Immigration Voice, a non-profit organisation advocating for more rights that are respectful of the trials and tribulations Indian immigrants to the United States face even today, has rebuked the Biden government.
Biden Wants More Immigrants
This comes on the back of an immigration overhaul proposal that wants to allow entry to more foreign highly-skilled workers from countries including India.
The new President’s administration announced this year’s H1-B Visa Lottery, set to begin Mar 9, which allows employers of the visa hopefuls to register online to apply for the visa.
Aman Kapoor, president of Immigration Voice, slammed this decision because it supposedly makes the lives of Indian immigrants and their families vulnerable and subject to the whims of their “employers within the States, new administrations or even individual immigration adjudicators having a bad day”.
Country-based Visa Limits Make Indians Suffer
His group urged the administration to not issue any more work visas to Indians until and unless the discriminatory country-based limit on green cards or permanent legal residency is removed.
The reasoning is that the current country-cap on visa issuance has led to extraordinarily long wait times for Indian professionals (mostly in IT) numbering into decades to receive permanent legal residency (or green cards).
So if the new administration proceeded to hand out more visas to Indians, they would have to get in line as well if they are hoping to get a green card, if at all.
“Immigration Voice calls to stop issuing such new H-1B visas until the discriminatory per county limits on Employment-Based green cards are finally lifted and immigrants from India are no longer treated as indentured servants in the United States”, said the group in an official statement.
As per a Congress mandate, every year 85,000 new H1-B Visas are issued out of which nearly 70% or nearly 60,000 visas are Indian recipients.
Transition from H1-B Visa To Permanent Residency
It should be noted that H1-B visas are temporary and grant holders a maximum 6 year stay in the US to be completed in two 3-year visa allotments. Green card gives permanent residency status of typically 10-years. Absence of a green card while staying on an H1-B Visa, if the stay is extended, risks holders getting deported.
In this context, Kapoor said that unjust country-caps established during Segregation restrict Indians to receive only 8,400 of 120,000 employment based green cards allotted each year.
Due to this, there is a massive backlog of over 1 million people awaiting green cards with a wait time of over 195 years.
What if Kamala Harris never got a green card?
In a chilling example Kapoor pointed out that if Vice President Kamala Harris had come to America today, she could not have hoped for a green card in her lifetime. The course of her life would have gone very differently had she been living in fear of getting deported, instead of living the life of an ordinary American citizen.