New York, Oct 9: While keeping mum on H1-B visas, US President Dold Trump has asked Congress to introduce a merit-based immigration system that could benefit Indians but would also deny green cards to some relatives of immigrants.
Trump asks Congress to ect merit-based immigration
Trump’s 70-point enforcement plan calling for stiff immigration reforms unveiled by the White house on Sunday night would continue to allow the spouses and children of immigrants to get green cards or permanent resident status but not their brothers, sisters and parents.
The goal of the merit-based system that awards green cards based on factors like education, employability and English language proficiency is “to promote assimilation and fincial success”, the White House said.
A merit-based system is likely to benefit India if the tiol quotas limiting green cards to about 20,000 per country per year are also done away with and they are awarded purely on merit.
Because of the large number of highly qualified Indians, most of the professiols from the country face an 11-year wait to get green cards and a merit-based system could cut down the delay. Professiols from all countries except India and three others do not have to wait for their green cards.
Trump’s wide-ranging reform package proposes the stiffest immigration reforms ever offered by an administration and seeks to make good on his election promise of getting tough on immigration.
But it faces strong opposition in the Congress from Democrats and some Republicans making it unlikely to pass in the near future.
The request to Congress for legislation formalises the immigration reform plan he announced in August.
The proposals sent on Sunday deal only with permanent immigration and with illegal immigration, and not with the temporary H1-B visas given to professiols and advanced degree-holders from US universities.
India has expressed concern over the future of H1-B visas because Trump had said during his election campaign that he would limit them because he asserted they affected the employment prospects of Americans.
When Exterl Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson last month, she raised the H1-B visas.
So far the H1-B system has been functioning without any changes and the immigration service is processing applications at the same levels as before.
One of the items in the proposal that concerns Indians is the future of those brought in illegally by their parents as children and have grown up here.
It is estimated that there about 7,500 Indians in this category referred to as “Dreamers”. (IANS)