US Bill moots increase in Green Cards

| | Washington

A new Bill, introduced by Republican lawmakers in the US House of Representatives as part of the legislative fix to protect about 8,00,000 young illegal immigrants from deportation, also proposes a substantial increase in allotment of Green Cards for legal immigrants waiting for years for permanent residency.

The Bill, if passed, will help reduce to some extent the long wait of Indians who are faced with the maximum backlog under the per-country norm.

The Bill follows a call from President Donald Trump to incorporate in the DACA Bill certain other immigration issues, including boosting border security and putting an end to visa lotteries and “chain migration”.

Called “Securing America’s Future Act”, the legislation proposes increasing the overall number of green cards from 120,000 to 175,000 per annum.

However, given that some estimates put the number of Indians waiting for green cards at over 5,00,000, only a removal of the country-wise quota system may be of help to Indian applicants, a good chunk of whom have been waiting for over 10 years.

Overall, the Bill seeks to reduce America’s immigration level from the current average of 1.05 million to 260,000 a year.

While the Bill in its present form can possibly clear the House of Representatives, given the Republican majority, it cannot pass muster in the US Senate, where it will need Democratic support to clear the 60-vote threshold. Republicans have just a bare majority of 51 in the 100- member Senate.

House Homeland Security Committee chairman Michael McCaul asserted that the Bill “offers common-sense solutions that will finally secure our borders, better support our frontline defenders, strengthen interior enforcement, and get tough on those who break our immigration laws”.

“With this president at the helm, we have the opportunity to provide the security and rule of law our founding fathers intended,” McCaul said.



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