HR 392. Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act is not really fair!

The House of Representatives is considering HR 392 that amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants. While this may reduce the long wait for green-cards faced by citizens of China and India, the waiting time will increase for citizens of every other country in the world!

There is a fixed number of employment-based green-cards available every year, capped by legislation at 140,000 per year. There is also a per-country quota so any particular country cannot get more than 7% of the available visas. This limit exists for a good reason so that one country or culture cannot dominate and immigrate in large numbers, which might affect their assimilation in the US, in addition to giving a fair opportunity for citizens of all countries of the world including the smallest countries.

Similar to having separate security lines at the airport, for priority and general boarding passengers, the 7% per country quota creates a queue by county of birth. So, citizens of those countries that have a smaller population, like Israel or the UK, can get their green cards much faster because their queues are not crowded, whereas citizens of China and India have to wait longer in their respective queues. The countries most impacted negatively by this current quota are China and India, which is not surprising given they have a large population, and their citizens therefore have to wait several years to obtain a green-card.

If the queues were to be eliminated in HR 362, citizens of every country is going to go through a single lane, which will already be full with applicants from India and China. This will result in citizens of Israel or UK waiting for several years, along with those from India and China, to get a green-card. While the general boarding passengers might be happy to not have a separate priority queue at airports, will the priority passengers appreciate it? How is this fair to let two countries that have a combined 1/3 of the world population take priority over all the other countries of the world, just because they have a lot of people living there looking to immigrate to the US? Imagine what would happen to the immigration diversity in the US if this were to materialize.

There should be increased awareness among the rest of the countries of the world on how big an impact HR 362 will have on their citizens ability to get a green card faster. If this goes through, all these countries will be in the general boarding lane instead of the priority-wise boarding lane they are in now. This will have a material impact on innovation from countries like Israel if their citizens cannot get a green-card fast.

In proposing to make the employment-based green card process fair, HR 362 is actually making it unfair to all countries of the world except for the 2 largest ones by population!

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