Biden administration is continuing to do everything we can for legal immigration reforms: White House

Feb29,2024



Mumbai: Addressing concerns about the alleged lack of reforms in legal immigration systems, Press Secretary Karine Jean Pierre, white Housetold reporters that Biden administration “…we will continue to do everything we can to improve.” visa process,
In a briefing late on Wednesday night Indian time, Pierre said, “If we see H1-B visa We have taken action to improve: the process and eliminate backlogs for lawful permanent residents who are eligible to become U.S. citizens.
For example, last month, as part of our efforts to strengthen the integrity of our immigration system and reduce the potential for fraud, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a final rule related to the H1-B visa . Therefore, the changes promote fairer and more equitable outcomes,” she said.
Pierre stressed, “And so, we will continue our work to improve the system within our authorities. And that has certainly been a priority.”
H-1B visa is a very popular work visa for Indians wishing to work in the US. Typically, at least 60% of the annual quota of Rs 85,000 is allocated to Indian beneficiaries, especially those working in the technology sector.
TOI had covered the proposed change in its edition of February 1 – a move towards a beneficiary-centric selection process for H-1B visas to stop gaming the system.
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Under the beneficiary-centric system, which will be implemented for the first time for the upcoming H-1B season, a passport or valid travel document of a foreign national will be required for H-1B cap e-registration. By sponsoring American employers. This document will be used as a unique identifier of the beneficiary (ie: foreign national). Each beneficiary will be entered into the H-1B Cap Lottery selection process only once, regardless of the number of e-registrations submitted.
In the last filing season, (for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2023), USCIS received 7,58,994 eligible registrations – a 60% increase in the number. USCIS reported that some sponsor companies tried to gain an unfair advantage by working together to submit multiple registrations on behalf of the same beneficiary, thereby increasing the chances of being selected in the lottery. This strengthened the system.
E-registration for H-1B visa will start from March 6 and will continue till March 22. U.S. employers must then file detailed applications for beneficiaries who are selected in the lottery.
Under the new mechanism, if a beneficiary is selected in the lottery, each potential employer filing a registration on behalf of that beneficiary (e.g. CO A, CO B) will be notified and will file an H-1B cap petition for the beneficiary. Will be eligible to file. This in turn will also give beneficiaries some autonomy in choosing their employer, if they are selected in the lottery and have multiple job offers.
The per-country cap is the primary reason for the decades-long employment-related green card backlog for Indians. Unfortunately, bills that aim to remove the 7% per-country cap, such as the 'Fairness for High-Skilled Immigration Act', have not passed. Most recently, in February, the National Security Agreement – ​​a $118.28 billion package that sought to strengthen border security and provide more aid to Israel and Ukraine and which included various measures for legal immigration reform Were, could not see the light of day.
Through the Immigration Nationality Act (INA), the US Congress authorizes the government to issue 6.75 lakh green cards annually. Of this total, 4.80 lakh green cards have been allotted to 'family preference' immigrants; Rs 1.40 lakh for 'employment-based' immigrants; and Rs. 55,000 for Diversity Visa Lottery winners (Indians are not eligible for this category). For the first time in more than 30 years, the bill proposed to increase the cap on the number of immigrant visas available annually by adding an additional 2.50 lakh immigrant visas over 5 years. Of these, 1.60 lakh visas were to be family-based and another 90,000 employment-based. It also contained measures to protect Documentary Dreamers (such as children of H-1B visa holders) from losing H-4 dependent visa status as they age out and turn 21. Provided that they have lived as a dependent child of an employment-based nonimmigrant for at least 8 years before turning 21, they will be eligible to reside temporarily in the US with work authorization.
Referring to this bill and answering a question asked by the media, Pierre emphasized that Republicans prevented the bill from being passed.
“The issue is that the President (Biden) actually worked to introduce a bipartisan bill, legislation that deals with an issue that the majority of Americans care about. He has done. It dealt with border security challenges. It was related to immigration policy. They really did.'' “The Republicans got in the way. He rejected it. Well, Republicans in the House got in the way, and then it was shot down, because the last President, Donald Trump, told them to shoot it down.'



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