Give priority for Legal immigrants stuck in a huge greencard backlog (EB is MERIT)

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High-skilled Legal Immigrants currently face many decades of future wait times. Most such high skilled immigrants hold Masters and PhD degrees, are life savings doctors and highly qualified Engineers and scientists. Many  of them are already waiting in line for their Adjustment of Status for past 12 years – all these high skilled immigrants already have approved green card petitions (I-140).

However, such legal immigrants are unable to obtain permanent resident status due to priority dates which are severely retrogressed. Currently, USCIS is processing adjustment of status (I-485) for approved petitions in Nov 2006 as of this writing (Feb 02, 2018). This priority date is advancing at a pace of 1-2 weeks per month which means someone whose greencard petition (I-140) is approved today will have a wait time of 40 years before he/she can apply for EAD (employment authorization) and I-485 (Adjustment of Status). Someone who is currently 30 years old will not see his/her greencard until retirement and most of these high skilled legal immigrants are stuck in limbo. All these decades of providing for US economy will be in vain since we cannot retire in US and have to return to home country. How is this fair?

The hypocrisy of current situation is that Democrats and Dreamers are unhappy with President Trump’s offer of 12 years for Citizenship, however, the high-skilled immigrant and their spouse/children whose greencard petition was approved in Dec 2006 are still stuck in a seemingly never ending queue. How is this fair?

The decades long wait times brings a number of problems:

  1. High skilled legal immigrant has to renew work visa every 2-3 years (this is about $4000 cost per renewal amounting to $50,000 cost per high skilled legal immigrant just for work visa renewal). Greencard costs are another $10,000.
  2. Such legal immigrants are unable to change jobs and are stuck to current employer. Most employers are aware of their leverage and such high skilled legal immigrants in US are considered to be modern day slaves to their employers.
  3. Many children brought to the US (foreign born) at a young age along with such high skilled legal immigrants are forced to apply for visa once they turn 21 years and have to pay much higher International student fees and they feel like an outsider in the only country they know. 
  4. There is always a sense of uncertainty and we are stuck in limbo not knowing where we will be tomorrow.

How is this Fair to High Skilled Legal Immigrants?

Republicans need to note that the hundreds of thousands of high skilled legal immigrants stuck in backlog are already part of MERIT based immigration that is touted. Employment based Immigration is MERIT based immigration. 

The solution: Pass HR 392.



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