Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeNewsFor H-1B visa holders, US new bill seeks quicker route to citizenship

For H-1B visa holders, US new bill seeks quicker route to citizenship


A group of four top Democratic senators have introduced a new bill, which proposes to offer citizenship to certain categories of people, and would benefit Indian tech sector workers in the United States.

The new bill, introduced by Senator Alex Padilla and co-sponsored by Senators Elizabeth Warren, Ben Ray Lujan, and Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin on Wednesday, allows an immigrant who has lived in the US continuously for a period of seven years to qualify for a green card.

The Renewing Immigration Provisions of the Immigration Act has introduced legislation to provide a much-needed pathway to a Green Card for up to 80 lakh people, including dreamers, H-1B and long-term visa holders.

Once approved, Indians could become one of the biggest beneficiaries as they currently face wait times running into decades for permanent residency on account of country quotas.

The development has been welcomed by the Green Card aspirants living in the US.

“Our outdated immigration system is hurting countless people and holding back America’s economy. My bill would update the Registry cutoff date for the first time in more than 35 years so that more immigrants can apply for legal permanent residence,” Senator Padilla stated.

“This could have a profound impact on millions of immigrants, some who have been living, working, and contributing to the United States for decades, by allowing them to live freely without the fear of an uncertain future,” he said.

Green Card

A Green Card, also known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

The legislation would provide a much-needed pathway to a green card for up to 80 lakh people, including Dreamers, forcibly displaced citizens (TPS holders), children of long-term visa holders who face deportation, essential workers, and highly skilled members of the workforce such as H-1B visa holders who have been waiting years for a green card to become available, a statement said.

As per estimates by pro-immigration lobbying group FWD.us, if the undocumented individuals covered in this bill became citizens, they would contribute around $83 billion to the US economy annually and about $27 billion in taxes.

Companion legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren.

“For decades, immigrants who contribute significantly to our communities and our economy have been relegated to a legal limbo,” said Lofgren, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Immigration.

“Updating this historically-bipartisan provision to provide lawful permanent resident status to immigrants who have been a part of our communities for years will make our immigration system fairer and our country stronger,” she said.

The lawmakers said Section 249 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, also known as the Registry, gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretion to register certain individuals for lawful permanent resident status if they have been in the country since a certain date and meet other requirements.

Section 249 was first codified in 1929 and Congress has modified it four times, most recently in 1986. No changes have been made since 1986 and the cutoff date for eligibility remains January 1, 1972, more than 50 years ago.

“The only humanitarian and viable solution for us is a pathway to citizenship, which the Registry Bill seeks to offer. We demand that Congress act and do the right thing. Pass the Registry Bill,” said Anil Shahi, TPS Holder from Nepal & Organizer with Adhikaar & Communities United for Status & Protection (CUSP).

He has lived in this country for more than 30 years.

“We applaud the bold leadership of Senators Padilla, Lujan, Warren, and Durbin to move Congress to update the registry, an existing immigration law that has not been revised in over 35 years. An update of the registry will provide immigrants the ability to access permanent residency,” said Angelica Salas, CHIRLA executive director.

With agency inputs

Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Subscribe to Mint Newsletters

* Enter a valid email

* Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.


Source link


most popular

Recent Comments