Chicago, Illinois (PressExposure) February 26, 2009 -- Cipolla & Pelud, P.C., a well renowned immigration consultancy firm based in Chicago recently held a seminar on "Important issues that should be addressed by the new US administration with regard to immigration from India?".
Speaking on the occassion, Sarah Pelud, Attorney At Law, Cipolla & Pelud, P.C. emphasised on reform of US immigration system urgently needed, and the new administration must not place it on the backburner due to our current economic woes. In fact, thoughtful Immigration Reform that entices Indian professional workers to come to work in the U.S., to become Legal Permanent Residents, and to petition for their families will actually stimulate US economy by creating more jobs and strengthening global pre-eminence in science and technology. Immigrants and non-immigrant workers from India have greatly contributed to the American economy by becoming some of our greatest Scientists, Researchers, and Entrepreneurs.
Sarah suggested, in order to continue the influx of valuable Indian professionals, it is vital that the new administration:
1. Raise the H1B visa cap. 2008 was the fifth consecutive year that the arbitrary numerical H1B cap, set more than a decade ago, was reached prior to the end of the fiscal year. Congress authorizes 65,000 H1B visas per fiscal year, with some exceptions. The first 20,000 H1B visas issued to alien workers holding a U.S. Master's Degree or higher are exempt from the 65,000 cap. However, H1B visas issued to such individuals subsequent to the first 20,000 are then counted against the overall 65,000 cap. The H-1B visa keeps the U.S. economy competitive in the world market and keeps jobs in America. Far from harming U.S. workers and the U.S. economy, highly educated foreign professionals allow U.S. employers to develop new products, undertake groundbreaking research, implement new projects, expand operations, create additional jobs, and compete in the global marketplace.
2. Reform of the Employment-Based Green Card System. The current problems with the EB system are attributable to two things: administrative delays in processing green card applications and statutory limits, regulated by the U.S. Department of State (DOS), putting a cap on the number of EB green cards issued each year. Wait times for some Indian applicants are in excess of 7 years. Such backlogs can easily be alleviated by allowing the recapture of unused EB green cards from prior years, exempting spouses and children from EB green card quotas, and by exempting foreign graduates from U.S. schools in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics from the quotas. Reducing the delays in employment based green cards would also aid the US economy and continue its competitiveness in the world.
3. Work towards reuniting families. There are even longer backlogs in the family-based immigrant categories. Such backlogs are unreasonable and unnecessary, creating serious distress for individuals and families. Family is vital to any productive society. Families pool their resources to start businesses, purchase homes, and send family members to college. Reforming the family-based system will reunite loved ones and promote stability within families. Current backlogs should be reduced by increasing the number of visas allotted per country and changing the way we count visas against our current caps.