Break the law, and you will be in trouble.
(PRWEB) May 21, 2007
ImmigrationVoice (http://www.immigrationvoice.org), an organization representing legal high-skilled professionals, which has a membership of nearly 12000, has serious reservations with the proposed Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007.
We are always told, “Break the law, and you will be in trouble.” But, the recent “Immigration Reform Grand bargain” proposes to send a message that is precisely the opposite.
We are being told that no undocumented immigrant will get ahead of those in backlog. While the backlog of Family-based petitions has been highly publicized, the petitions of individuals (engineers, scientists, doctors and other professionals) are being left in legal and bureaucratic limbo. About half-a-million highly qualified professionals and their families have put their faith in the legal immigration system and due process of the United States, while working to enhance the US economy. These people have pending petitions either with the Department of Labor, or with the CIS, the final adjudication of which will enable them to work with a US employer, with consequent ripple effect on the US economy.
In the old system, employment-based petitions were limited to 140K per year, but the proposed system, ‘in order to reduce backlog’, reduces them to 90K per year only. On the contrary, Family-based cases used to be limited to similar numbers, but now have been increased to 567K per year. In addition, close to 100K of these applicants with pending petitions are being asked to start from scratch in the new system. In effect, it is similar to changing the ‘rules’ or rather, the ‘Laws’ after the fact. Innocent high-skilled prospective immigrants are being penalized due to bureaucratic delay in the DOL.
Highly skilled doctors, scientists, engineers, and computer professionals have been stuck in backlogs since the last 3-4 years. They had hoped to get relief from the “Immigration Reform,” but have been let down badly. They are being forced to renew their H-1Bs yearly now, while the old system allowed 3-yr incremental renewals while their Green Card petition was pending. Seems like a fitting reward for following the Laws, isn’t it?
A Merit-based system which has been proposed by the US Senate has been widely criticized for allegedly favoring skilled individuals. A review actually reveals it being skewed the other way. As an example, an agriculture worker can earn 25 points for working 100 days a year for 5 years, while a skilled individual will get 10 points for working the same number of years. Economic contribution by the undocumented is recognized by awarding points for property ownership but not for people working legally.
Individuals who have played by the rules, need to be treated fairly even though their actual numbers are much less when compared to the undocumented. There needs to be a timely process to resolve all pending employment-based petitions within a reasonable time frame. Immigration Reform is sorely needed. But, the present compromise is very unwieldy, and unworkable for high-skilled individuals.
Give high-skilled legal immigrants a fair deal! That is all we are asking for.
Immigration Voice (http://www.immigrationvoice.org) is a non-profit national grassroots organization committed to feasible solutions to a broken employment-based immigration process. Immigration Voice is advocating for technical changes that will improve the quality of life of several individuals that are stuck in the backlogs/delays, and help the system to work as it was intended.
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