Immigration Bill S.386: Please Take 5 min to Read What is at Stake. It Could Significantly Affect You (negatively)!

William Tang
Sep 21, 2019 · 3 min read

Please spread the word to any of your friends or families who is on H1B visa or plan to apply green card in US.

TL;TR:

What is HR1044/S386? [2 min video][1]

This bill intends to clear national caps and is going to make anyone who apply for employment based Green Card now to wait in backlog for at least 8.5 years[2]

Quote from pro-immigration lawyer Amy Maldonado:

A Forecast of Immigration Visa Distribution for the next decade if HR.1044/S.386 passes [3]

According to the bill S.386, by removing the per-country limitation and processing all the applications in the order of time, it could “clear up backlogs, then create a fair playground for applications from all countries”. While this would be an ideal result in the long term, I’m afraid that the proposers of S.386 did not give enough consideration to the serious short-time consequences it might cause.

Since the current queue of India is the longest, the bill could result in applications from India getting prioritized for many years to come. Even though the bill reserves a protective quota for other countries for the fiscal years 2020 ~ 2022, multiple sources (e.g. source) have estimated that three years is not enough to clear up the backlogs for India. For three to six years after that, EB-2 green cards could be completely monopolized by Indian applicants.

The root cause of the long backlogs is actually a long-standing abuse of the H-1B visa system by international IT outsourcing companies [source1], [source2]. They have been known for abusing the H-1B system by transporting employees without a US degree to the US with unfairly low salaries. For example, in 2014, thirteen outsourcing firms accounted for nearly a third of the 85,000 H-1B visas that were approved [source]. It is the green card applications from these employees that contribute to the long backlogs. Were S.386 came into effect, it would encourage outsourcing companies to transport even more employees to the US, further worsen the backlogs. Apparently, S.386 doesn’t help alleviate any of the problems.

Three-fourths of newly issued H1B visa holders in 2018 are Indians. Image source redbus2us.com, based on USCIS reports
Three-fourths of newly issued H1B visa holders in 2018 are Indians. Image source redbus2us.com, based on USCIS reports
Three-fourths of newly-issued H1B visa holders in 2018 are Indians. Image source redbus2us.com, based on USCIS reports

We do need a working merit based immigration system, but S.386 is not properly addressing the problems in current immigration system.

What can you do to help block this bill?

  • Please call your senators and ask them to say NO to S.386.
    https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
  • Also please call any other senators to express your concern.
  • Schedule meetings to talk to senators
  • Write letters/emails to your Alma Mater’s president, provost, and international office to express your concern.
  • Use social media to openly express your thoughts
  • Please consider donating to any organization against this bill

Bill Current Status[4]

  • This bill has been very close to pass. It has now 34 co-sponsors source. A simple majority (51 of 100) would pass the bill.
  • There has been zero public hearings in Congress on this bill.
  • Earlier this year, its companion bill H.R.1044 passed the House.
  • Now Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) has been calling for unanimous consent in Senate on this bill, but failed on Sept 19 because Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) “has minor concerns” that he wants to “quickly resolve”
  • Sen. Mike Lee is planning to bring again an unanimous consent again this year.

Learn more at

[1] What is HR1044/S386? (2 min video)

[2] Your Guide to the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019” (H.R.1044/S.386) [15 min read]

[3] Arguments Against Country Cap Removal for Employment-Based Green Cards (HR1044/S386) [15 min read]

[4] H-1B: Bill to scrap per-country green card limits blocked in Senate, report says [5 min read]

William Tang

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Across the Great Wall I can reach every corner in the world.

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