Approximately 1.5 million Indian immigrant workers, currently working in the US via H-1B US visas, who hope to get a green card but are caught in a massive backlog, expect their fate to be determined by the negotiations on immigration reform, which began in the Senate on Monday.
The headline components of the debate are the fate of the Dreamers, the young undocumented immigrants who came to the US while underage, as well as President Donald Trump’s agenda, which includes ending the diversity US visa lottery and chain immigration, and a wall on the border between the US and Mexico. On Monday, the Senate voted 97-1 to start debating several different proposals, created either by lone Senators or those acting in groups, some of which are bipartisan.
The White House has backed one of the bills in question, which encompasses the proposals made by the President. Another bill – the Immigration Innovation Act of 2018, introduced by Republican Senators, Jeff Flake, and Orrin Hatch in January – would address the backlog issue by removing the country’s annual cap and cutting the Indian waiting period for green cards dramatically. It could take decades, possibly even almost 70 years, to clear the current backlog.
Flake has also since proposed a compromise bill, encompassing the Trump plan, as well as other issues, including green cards, a removal of the country’s cap, and H-1B US visas, which has caused excitement in the H-1B community among Indians.