The US House of Representatives has Passed Comprehensive Immigration Reforms



The US House of Representatives has Passed Comprehensive Immigration Reforms

The US House of Representatives enacted comprehensive immigration reforms recently which may help to alleviate the suffering of the Indian diaspora, who face a decades-long wait for a green card.

The US House of Representatives enacted comprehensive immigration reforms recently which may help to alleviate the suffering of the Indian diaspora, who face a decades-long wait for a green card. The Build Back Better (BBB) Act, a $2.2 trillion spending and tax relief package, also includes important immigration measures. After tense deliberations, the US House of Representatives passed it by a vote of 220-21.

It allows for the recapturing of unused family and employment-based green card numbers from 1992 to 2021. This provision is expected to save roughly 1.5 lakh unused family-based green cards and nearly 1 lakh odd employment-based green cards that were set to expire on September 30. If this proposal passes the Senate, it will benefit thousands of competent Indians who, according to a Cato Institute study, face an 84-year wait for an employment-based green card. However, no one is celebrating just yet because the Senate must debate and vote on the Bill before it can become law.

The US only grants 1.40 lakh green cards per year for employment-based applicants, with a 7% cap per nation. Given the large influx of Indians in the United States, the bulk of whom are on H-1B visas, this restricted approach presents issues and has resulted in a substantial backlog in the employment-based category for them.

According to the Niskanen Center, a policy think tank based in Washington, there are around 4 million people waiting for family-based green cards and approximately one million people waiting for employment-based green cards. The Build Back Better Act also includes provisions that would allow foreign nationals to pay additional fees in order to bypass the green card application process.

The Build Back Better Act, as passed, is diluted for unauthorised immigrants. Instead of a path to citizenship, it now offers eligible immigrants work permits and deportation protection for five years, renewable once for a total of ten years. It is intended to help almost 70 lakh individuals, through federal financial aid, scholarships, and a variety of social safety net advantages.