Bills Introduced in US House to end per-country Green Card limits

Two legislations were introduced in the United States House of Representatives and Senate to end the per-country limit on green cards. The identical legislations backed by top companies from the Silicon Valley like Googlecould benefit thousands of Indian professionals waiting to gain permanent legal residency if signed into law. Republican Mike Lee and Democratic presidential aspirant Kamala Harris introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act in the Senate. The bill would remove per-country cap for employment-based green cards.

A similar bill -- Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act (HR 1044) -- was tabled in the US House of Representatives by Congressman Zoe Lofgren and Ken Buck, Chair and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship, with co-sponsorship of a bipartisan group of 112 Congressmen. "Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity," Harris said.

She added: "We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the US and continue to contribute to the economy." The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act increases the per-country caps for family-sponsored green cards from seven per cent to 15 per cent. 
Without adding any new green cards, it creates a "first-come, first-served" system that alleviates the backlogs and allows green cards to be awarded more efficiently. "Immigrants should not be penalised due to their country of origin," Lee said.

"Treating people fairly and equally is part of our founding creed and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act reflects that belief. Immigration is often a contentious issue, but we should not delay progress in areas where there is bipartisan consensus just because we have differences in other areas," Lee said.