Washington, July 13 (PTI): An influential American lawmaker has called for the removal of country-specific quotas for Green Cards in the US, saying the system was unjust for people from countries like India and China.
Kevin Yoder, a Republican Congressman from Kansas, yesterday became the lead sponsor of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a legislation he said aims to reform the legal immigration system by eliminating the existing, arbitrary per-country percentage caps that have caused backlogs in the employment-based green card system.
"Under the existing percentage caps, large nations like India and China, which account for more than 40 per cent of the world's population, receive the same amount of visas as Greenland, a country that accounts for one-one thousandth of a per cent of the world's population," Yoder said.
A report released earlier this week had said the average wait time for an Indian technology professional or those seeking a Green Card under the employment category is more than 12 years.
"With 95 per cent of the employment-based Green Card applicants already living and working in America on temporary visas, the vast majority of applicants are simply waiting in line to get approved for permanent residence. But high-skilled immigrants from large countries are forced to wait two to three times longer under the existing law," Yoder said.
The act will fix this problem and create a system where all equally qualified, highly skilled employees will receive Green Cards in the order they apply and based solely on the skills they are bringing to America, Yoder said.
Currently, 230 members of Congress have signed as cosponsors of the bill, with over 100 members from each party in support.