Jayapal: The HR6542 Act seeks to remove per-country caps on employment-based green cards and raise family-based green card limits.
A bipartisan team, led by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Rich McCormick, and Rep. Raja Krishnamo, introduced the HR6542 Act in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill aims to eliminate per-country caps on employment-based green cards and raise the family-based green card limit, addressing the prolonged backlog, particularly for applicants from countries like India and China, facing extensive wait times for U.S. permanent residency.
ramila Jayapal expressed pride on Saturday, stating, “I am proud to co-lead this significant bipartisan bill with @RepMcCormick & @CongressmanRaja, aiming to enhance our immigrant visa system and alleviate the challenges posed by the visa backlog.” She shared a post from Immigration Voice announcing the introduction of H.R.6542 – the Immigration Visa Efficiency and Security Act. The post mentioned plans to raise awareness on Capitol Hill next week about the necessity of passing this crucial bipartisan bill in Congress.
What is the HR6542 Bill?
In a tweet, Pramila Jayapal mentioned that the bill aims to eliminate per-country caps, which have left numerous Indian and Chinese immigrants in uncertainty for years, hindering family reunification and future planning. She further noted that the legislation would support U.S. businesses in retaining essential talent for global competition and innovation.
The bill, endorsed by immigration advocacy groups like Immigration Voice, is expected to offer relief to more than 1.2 million high-skilled immigrants facing the green card backlog. Without this legislation, some individuals might have to endure a staggering 134-year wait to obtain their green cards.
The backlog in green card issuance stems from low annual limits for each category and country. Recent data indicates that 1% of Indian immigrants contribute to 6% of the US economy, highlighting their significant economic impact.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reported a record-breaking employment-based green card backlog of 1.8 million cases this year. Immigrants in this backlog are awaiting green cards, primarily due to the restrictive caps on green cards for employer-sponsored immigrants and investors.
What is the EAGLE Act?
The EAGLE (Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment) Act proposes a gradual elimination of the 7% per-country cap on employment-based green cards over nine years. Additionally, it suggests raising the 7% per-country limit on family-sponsored green cards to 15%.
The likelihood of the EAGLE Act passing in the current Congress is higher, given its bipartisan co-sponsorship and endorsement from the Biden administration.
The legislation aims to safeguard the diversity visa program, which grants 50,000 green cards annually to individuals from countries with limited immigration rates to the United States.
The HR6542 bill bears resemblance to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which cleared the House in 2019 but faced a Senate impasse. Opposition from certain senators, seeking provisions to safeguard American workers and decrease overall immigration levels, led to the bill’s stall.