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The issue of Immigration Voice, in a nutshell

1. Green Card Delays :

The Employment based green card system is completely broken due to excessive delays and backlogs in petitions of nearly half a million highly skilled workers who are certified by US Government to be doing a job that no US citizen is willing, qualified or able to do. The delays in obtained permanent residency are due to 2 reasons: Numerical caps on employment-based green cards and processing delays in adjudication of files. Today the system takes anywhere between 6-12 years to grant Green cards to some of the best and brightest of the world who have chosen America as their future home.

These future Americans are facing huge quality of life issues and their employers are facing difficulty in attracting more of the best and brightest of the world due to the broken system. The system prevents these workers from accepting promotions and switching jobs for the time-period it takes to process their files. By stagnating career growth and suffocating the creativity of the most innovative and technical minds of the world, America is creating a class of future Americans, who would see no career growth for 6-12 years and making under-achievers of these individuals.

The pressure on these individuals to go back to their home countries are increasingly each day as many world economies, especially India and China are booming and they also happen to be the country of origin of more than half of these skilled foreign-born workforce. If America delays reform of the broken system of employment based immigration, the pressure on these individuals to go back would neutralize the incentive to wait here and tough it out with the broken system. It would result in a reverse brain drain where the talent and human capital flows from developed west to the burgeoning Asian economies. The reverse brain drain would exacerbate the effects of overseas outsourcing on economy. These future Americans have waited for reform for more than 2 years but congress hasn’t reformed the system yet. The fight for the best and brightest in the world is America’s to lose.

2. The Discriminatory Per-Country Rationing of Green Cards That Exacerbates the Delays :

Today, the employment based skilled immigrants face more backlogs if they are from India, China, Mexico or Philippines than what backlogs they would face if they were born anywhere but these 4 countries. This is due to the fact that green cards from the annual quota are rationed at 7% per country. Unused visas from the remaining countries that don’t use the 7% allocated visas are mostly never allotted to these 4 countries that have the highest number of scientists, engineers and technology workers willing to make America their future home. It is discriminatory to have laws that subject immigrants from 4 nations to more backlogs and the resulting hardship from such backlogs.

America has had per-country ceilings since decades on family based and diversity-lottery based visas and it makes sense to have uniform distribution of visas to countries where the basis for immigration is family relationship and family reunification. However, the employment based immigration is driven by employer petitions filed by employers who want the retain the employee and facilitate employee retention based on skills, knowledge, education and talent. Employability has nothing to do with country of birth. We do not allow employers to discriminate hiring based on their nationality or country of origin. Therefore, the employment-based immigration, which is a derivative benefit of employment, should also be free from rationing based on nationality or country of birth.

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