The United States have a fixed quota as to how many immigrants they can let in from a particular country. Some countries like China and India has a large pool of qualified immigrants who can come to the US and fill professional positions, and thereby improve the US economy. However, with China and India prospering, and the green card process taking longer and longer, many of these highly qualified personnel are going back to their own countries. No one can deal with the uncertainty of an US green card taking in some cases 7 to 8 years. As a result, US businesses are loosing their competitive edge.
Not every country uses up their quota. Thus those visas are wasted. During Clinton’s reign, these unused visas were collected and given to everyone at large. This is a bipartisan issue affecting both small and large businesses and American competitiveness. Currently there are 3 bills in the legislature to ameliorate the problem. They are:
1. H.R. 6039, by exempting highly educated, foreign-born students earning an advanced degree in science, technology, engineering or mathematics from a U.S. university from the annual EB green card limit, would help U.S. employers retain these talented individuals in the U.S. workforce. For example, foreign nationals comprise half of the master’s and 70 percent of the Ph.D.s in electrical engineering from U.S. universities.
2. H.R. 5921 will help put an end to multi-year wait times by eliminating unduly restrictive per country limits on EB green cards.
3. H.R. 5882 will help to reduce visa backlogs by “recapturing” EB green cards from prior years that went unused due to government processing delays and making them available immediately to those who meet the requirements.
A letter signed by 130 Corporations, like Microsoft, Google, Sun Systems, E Bay, Coca Cola Company, etc and educational institutions was sent to House of Representatives.
A comprehensive immigration reform may be hard to get a consensus on. But this bill is not for “illegal people” who the likes of Lou Dobbs chastise. These are highly qualified individuals, who if they go back, they will enrich their own countries, and US will fall behind on their Math and Science competitive edge.