About a lakh of employment-based green cards are at risk of being wasted in less than two months, sparking resentment among Indian IT professionals who have now waited decades for legal permanent residency.
A green card, officially known as a permanent residence card, is a document issued to immigrants as proof that the bearer has been given the privilege of permanent residence in the US.
This year’s quota for migrant workers is 261,500, much higher than the usual 140,000, Indian professional Sandeep Pawar told PTI.
“Unfortunately, by law, if these visas are not issued by September 30, they are lost forever,” he said.
The current rate of processing by US Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, suggests they will waste more than 100,000 green cards, a fact recently confirmed by the State Department official responsible for determining visa usage, said he.
If the USCIS or the Biden administration does not act, the additional 100,000 green cards available this year will be wasted, Mr Pawar lamented.
The White House has not commented on the questions raised in this regard.
Meanwhile, a group of 125 Indian and Chinese citizens living in the US has filed a lawsuit to stop the government from wasting the green cards.
“There are hundreds of thousands of paid legal immigrants in the US who would benefit from these green cards. Many of them have been waiting for a decade or more to adjust to permanent resident status, but have been unable to do so due to a lack of available visa numbers,” he said.
“But this year, if the USCIS does its job efficiently and quickly, these immigrants will finally have a chance to become permanent residents, something that would otherwise take decades,” said Pawar, who has fought for the rights of Indian professionals who wait a few decades before green cards.
“Most of the potential beneficiaries, like myself, come from India, a country most lagging behind due to inherently racist and discriminatory country-by-country quotas embedded in the INA. Many have husbands, mostly women, who cannot work until they become permanent. residents,” Pawar said.
“Many have children who are getting older and forced to evict themselves, even though this is the only country they know of. The damage is both immense and irreparable if these green cards are not used,” he said.
IMPACT Executive Director Neil Makhija, who met President Joe Biden as part of a delegation, said he urged him to reform immigration laws by removing green card limits and quotas and including 200,000 children of long-term visa holders in efforts to protect all dreamers.
In an op-ed in The Washington Post, David J Bier, a researcher at the Cato Institute, claimed that the Biden administration is responsible for this waste of green cards. Last week, the US government announced it was processing Green Card applications at such a slow pace that it will run out at least 100,000 slots to use up the annual cap.
“Without drastic revisions to the ice age processing times, President Biden will have presided over one of the biggest cuts in legal immigration in US history — and hardly anyone is talking about it,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)