WASHINGTON, DC – FWD.us President Todd Schulte issued the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1044, or the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act,” by a vote of 365-65:
“We congratulate Representatives Lofgren (D-CA) and Buck (R-CO), along with tens of thousands of directly-impacted advocates and organizers, on the passage of the ‘Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act’ by the House of Representatives today. With an overwhelming 365 votes in support, the bill’s passage represents a real example of bipartisan leadership in modernizing our legal immigration system.
“This bill will help ensure those seeking permanent residency don’t face extraordinary wait times — projected at 50 years or more for people from countries like India and China — simply because of their country of origin. Eliminating ‘per-country’ caps for employment-based green cards and raising caps for family-based green cards will make the system fairer for immigrant families while also strengthening the United States’ ability to recruit and retain top global talent by establishing a fair and predictable path to permanent legal status.
“Now that the House has acted, the Senate should immediately take up its bipartisan companion bill, S. 386, led by Senators Lee (R-UT) and Harris (D-CA).”
The bipartisan “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” aims to reduce and ultimately eliminate excessive backlogs for qualified immigrants seeking green cards by removing outdated limits and transitioning to a first-come, first-served system.
Under current law, only 7% of total green cards can go to individuals from any one country each year. This has led to extraordinary backlogs and wait times projected at 50 years or more for immigrants from populous countries like India and China. H.R. 1044 would eliminate the 7% cap for employment-based green cards and raise the cap for family-based green cards to 15%. Importantly, no one who is currently waiting to receive a green card will lose their spot in line.
Eliminating the “per-country” caps will strengthen the fairness and competitiveness of our immigration system. It will ensure individuals are not forced to wait decades for a green card simply because of their country of origin; it will also protect their children, who often face “aging out” of their dependent status during the years of waiting. And it will help the United States continue to recruit and retain top global talent by providing a clear and reliable path to permanent residency for those who wish to pursue it.
With over 300 bipartisan co-sponsors, the “Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act” is one of the most popular bills in Congress, and an opportunity for both parties to work across the aisle to strengthen our legal immigration system.
For more background on the bill, read our post here.