Washington DC :As USINPAC first reported in February, Congressional lawmakers in the House and Senate have been working to push and pass legislation which lifts the per-country caps for employment-based visas. With the strong backing of the Indian American community, the House finally passed H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act on July 10, 2019.
The measure was first introduced in the Senate on Feb. 6, where Senator Kamala Harris and Senator Mike Lee have been leading the effort. On Feb. 7, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman Ken Bush introduced the legislation in the House and got it done this week. The Senate will now consider its version and the two Chambers must agree before the President could consider signing into law.
Congresswoman Zoe has been at the forefront of this issue for years, and so has USINPAC. USINPAC has been in the trenches galvanizing the Indian American community in support of H-1B visa reform and recently submitted testimony in June before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific, and Nonproliferation, urging continued changes for a fairer process. This testimony along with previous testimony from years past remains on record for historical purposes in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations. According to a report in 2018, three-fourths of H-1B visa holders are Indian IT specialists. Many US employers want to retain these high-skilled workers but there is a limit, or cap, on employment-based green cards per country.
“Why should Indians be penalized due to their country of origin?” asked Sanjay Puri, Chairman of USINPAC. “We thank Congressman Lofgren for her tireless work on our behalf, and also Congressman Buck who has been our champion, and all those who voted in favor in the House. We also express appreciation to Senator Harris and Senator Lee for spearheading these measures in the Senate, and urge immediate Senate action.”
About USINPAC: USINPAC is a bi-partisan organization a voice of over 3.2 million Indian Americans. We connect our members to candidates of their choice. During the 2020 election cycle, we will be hosting events across the country to make sure Indian Americans are heard. If you would like to be part of this historic effort and bring about outcomes that matter, sign up for our email updates and get involved today at today at www.usinpac.com