#Employment
Target:
US Senate and House of Representatives
Region:
United States of America

Concerns of the Greek-American community regarding consequences of the law that was recently introduced in Congress titled "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act".
The proposed Act eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based (EB) Permanent Resident cards, allowing a 3-year transition period during which a limited 10% of the permanent resident cards will go to countries other than the two with the highest number of applicants in backlog, India and China.

Statement of the Greek-American Community against HR1044/S386

Dear Honorable Senators and House Representatives,

We would like to express the concerns of the Greek-American community regarding consequences of the law that was recently introduced in Congress titled "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act". Greek Americans have been contributing significantly in arts, science, economy, engineering, sports and medicine. Several of them are world-renowned and experience broad recognition in various fields, such as Jeniffer Aniston, Telly Savalas, Maria Kallas, Pete Sampras, John Ioannidis, George Canellos, Dimitris Nanopoulos, George Papanicolaou and many others.

The proposed Act eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based (EB) Permanent Resident cards, allowing only a 3-year transition period during which a limited 10% of the permanent resident cards will go to countries other than the two with the highest number of applicants in backlog, India and China. Per the recent Congressional Research Service report, 466,000 Indian nationals are currently in backlog waiting for their Permanent Resident cards under the EB2 track which is the predominant EB category. According to current demographics of the individuals that are backlogged, along with fixed availability of 40,000/year green cards in EB2 category, it will take approximately 12 years before applicants from other countries can be approved for a Permanent Resident status. The 3-years transition period and the proposed 10% exemption window do not suffice to secure equality in the opportunity to obtain permanent resident status and will compromise diversity of the non-US human labor power in the USA. Clearly, this does not abide by core values of our country that pertain to multinationalism and cultural diversity. Particularly for the Greek-American community, passing of the proposed bill will eliminate a great opportunity for individuals of outstanding scientific or other professional capacity that originate from Greece and aim to pursue a career in the USA.

For these reasons, we are expressing our major concerns about this law, and we align our voice with a diverse growing group of cultural and professional communities that have been expressing their opposition. These groups include the Canadian American Bar Association, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Korean Americans in Action, South Asian Americans Leading together, Philippine Nurses Association of America and the National Iranian American Council. The American Hospital Association has already expressed disagreement with this law, as it will quickly result in shortages in physicians and nursing staff especially in underserved areas. U.S. Technology workers, who have faced employment challenges due to preference for Indian and Asian workers, are also against this law. The Congressional Research Service report clearly predicts "shorter wait times for LPR status might actually incentivize greater numbers of nationals from India, China, and the Philippines to seek employment-based LPR status. If that were to occur, the reduction in the number of approved petitions pending might be short-lived. In addition, absent a per-country ceiling, a handful of countries could conceivably dominate employment-based immigration, possibly benefitting certain industries that employ foreign workers from those countries, at the expense of foreign workers from other countries and other industries that might employ them".

Some people claim that the current system discriminates against Indian nationals, which is not true. Indian nationals have received 280,523 green cards in the last ten years. That is more than double compared to the number of green cards approved for people of Chinese origin (130,248) the country with the 2nd highest number of approved Permanent Resident cards.

In conclusion, HR1044/S386 will severely restrict access to permanent residency for applicants from Europe and Greece. While the backlog remains a problem, a merit-based solution should be implemented to secure equal access to permanent residency for all countries. Such a solution may include substitution of the underutilized Diversity Immigrant Visa program with Permanent Resident cards or a significantly higher allowance for the applicants that do not originate from India or China, who have the highest number of applicants in backlog. This would allow the rest of the world to have access to permanent residency while it slowly clears the backlog.

We look forward to hearing your intentions about the proposed "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act" and we do hope for a favorable response to our request.

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The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act petition to US Senate and House of Representatives was written by Konstantinos Drosatos and is in the category Employment at GoPetition.