Badmus & Associates joins with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) in opposition to the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2020 H.R. 1044, as amended by S. 386. Don’t get us wrong. We absolutely support removing the per-country limitations for employment-based immigrants because individuals should become permanent residents based on the skills they bring to the United States and not their country of birth. The current decades-long backlog for Indian and Chinese nationals is nonsensical. But Congress needs to fix this unjust situation, without harming others.
The current version of H.R. 1044, which was amended recently by the Senate bill S. 386, would harm nationals that it seeks to help, as well as individuals from other countries by:
- Prohibiting the adjustment of status of most Chinese nationals;
- Capping the number of H-1B nonimmigrants who can adjust their status to permanent residence annually, which disproportionately impacts Indian and Chinese nationals;
- Including only EB-2 and EB-3 immigrants in the transition provisions, thereby significantly impacting those individuals, including Indians and Chinese who seek EB-4 or EB-5 immigrant visas;
- Offering limited protection for individuals to apply for adjustment of status early and protect their children from aging out while they wait for an immigrant visa number to become available; and
- Creating a significant number of restrictions on the H-1B program.
Before Congress acts on this legislation it must carefully consider and hold public debate on the impact of each one of the new provisions included in the Senate version, so that the public has the opportunity to understand the overall impact on current and future immigration flows. There’s no need to rush through this disastrous and discriminatory legislation as written.
Rather, to achieve a fair and equitable solution to the growing immigrant visa backlog, Congress must at a minimum:
- Eliminate employment-based per country limitations;
- Increase the number of family-based and employment-based immigrant visas;
- Recapture previously unused immigrant visas to give relief to individuals in the backlog;
- Exempt employment-based derivative beneficiaries from annual green card limits; and
- Provide a permanent solution for children falling out of status and becoming ineligible