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house Bill H.R. 392

Should Per-Country Immigration Limits be Lifted?

Argument in favor

The current immigration system of “per country limits,” in which citizens from a given country can’t receive more than 7% of all visas issues in a given year, significantly disadvantages workers from populous countries such as China and India.

desaipurvesh's Opinion
···
02/03/2017
I really support this bill. There are millions of highly skills double masters graduated workers working with large financial firms, technology companies , and wanting to work for the betterment of America by wanting to create their own startups and employ people. This is not possible till they attain the green card. We are legal, approved and well qualified immigrants who want to do so much more but simply cannot as we have to wait 20 years simply to get a green card. This small group has been overlooked for many years and the backlog has simply kept on increasing. Problems of the H1-B visa. The H1-B visa system has created a class of workers with fewer rights (whose whole lives get uprooted when they lose their jobs), bad employers have come prefer workers that have fewer rights - since we work harder for less and the abuses we are seeing are a logical market-driven outcome of a broken system.The Problem: The root cause of the unnecessary long Green Card backlogs for people approved Employment Based Immigration Petitions is the 7% per- country cap on Employment based Green Cards. The 7% per-country cap on employment based Green Cards means that a country like Greenland with a population of 50,000 is allocated the same number of Green Cards as a country like India with over a billion people. H1-B visas which are a funnel into the Employment Based Green Card system have no per-country caps, so it makes no sense to have a per-country cap on the number Employment Based Green Cards.
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Harshal10's Opinion
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02/01/2017
This bill does not increase the number of immigrants but, provides fairness to the people stuck in the backlog for green card.
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Jack's Opinion
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03/16/2017
Great arguments from both sides. But I am inclined towards supporting this reform. I learned about this when a doctor from India in our local hospital treated me. We live in one of the inner cities and having talented guys like him have helped the community significantly. On talking more with him I found out that he has been having nightmares because of his visa renewals. I am very convinced and want all good samaritans like him to stay and contribute. There might be people who won't agree with me and that's OK.
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Argument opposed

Per-country caps are a reasonable way of ensuring immigrants from around the world have a chance to come to America. Ending the per-country cap could open the door for immigration to skew towards more populous countries.

Loraki's Opinion
···
01/31/2017
Heck NO! I'll support this bill ONLY after you pass a Fairness for High-Skilled AMERICAN CITIZENS Act! H.R.392 - Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 Sponsor: Rep. Chaffetz, Jason [R-UT-3] Cosponsors: Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]* Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]* Rep. Comstock, Barbara [R-VA-10]* Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11]* Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]* Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7]* Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-22]* Rep. Farenthold, Blake [R-TX-27]* Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]* Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]* Rep. Love, Mia B. [R-UT-4]* Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6]* Rep. O'Rourke, Beto [D-TX-16]* Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2]* Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5]* Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]* Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25]* Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]* Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]* Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]* Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA-41]* Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2]* Rep. Walz, Timothy J. [D-MN-1]* Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]* Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2] Rep. Russell, Steve [R-OK-5] Rep. Labrador, Raul R. [R-ID-1] Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6] Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5] Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9] Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4] Rep. Coffman, Mike [R-CO-6] Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11] Rep. Reichert, David G. [R-WA-8] Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2] Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8] Rep. Larsen, Rick [D-WA-2] Summary: A summary is in progress. Below is a summary of H.R. 213 (114th): Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3) with cosponsors Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID1) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19), the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 would update the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate country-based restrictions on employment visas and to reduce country-based restrictions on family visas. Press release: http://chaffetz.house.gov/press-release/chaffetz-introduces-fairer-system-distribution-high-skilled-immigrants-visas The original Act limits the combined total of work and family visas for immigrant from any country at 7% of available visas. H.R. 213 would amend this to increase the limit to 15% and make the limit apply only to family-sponsored immigrants. While this could result in an increase in the number of immigrants from any given country that could obtain a visa, it would not change the total number of visas within a given fiscal year. Both cosponsors are senior members of the Immigration and Border Security subcommittee of the House Judiciary committee to which the bill has been referred. The bill has gained bipartisan support. Text of bill: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr392/BILLS-115hr392ih.pdf
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David's Opinion
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01/31/2017
Seriously? Heck No. Fairness for American citizens, of all skill levels, first and foremost above all non-citizens!
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NoHedges's Opinion
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06/03/2018
No. Not until Trump is out of office. Currently, the US is not safe for men, women, or children born outside the country. Any day Trump could start building immigrants "work camps" and I am not sure congress, the DOJ, or SCOTUS have the balls to stop him. We are also a prime target for a foreign military strike, since we have turned our back on our allies. 🚧 If anything we need to get our children to safety until congress can man up and "25 the 45."
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Immigration and Citizenship
    IntroducedJanuary 10th, 2017

What is House Bill H.R. 392?

This bill would eliminate per-country percentage caps in the employment-based green card system and increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-based immigrants from 7% to 15% of the total number of family-sponsored visas. Under current law, the per country caps have created a backlog of would-be immigrants from more populous countries.

Impact

Highly-skilled immigrants; family-based immigrants; and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 392

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) introduced this bill to fairly reward high-skilled workers in countries where they are long visa backlogs:

“I think we’re failing the people trying to come here legally and lawfully. Those are the people that suffer… [and] if you’re from India or China or Mexico, we often bump up against this cap literally within the first few days of a calendar year.”

In July 2017, after Rep. Chaffetz’s retirement, Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-KS) became the bill’s lead sponsor, after previously being an original cosponsor:

“I’ve always said that our nation is a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation of laws. This legislation strikes the perfect balance by achieving significant reforms of our employment-based green card system, helping American companies hire high-skilled immigrants to help grow our economy. Importantly, our bill helps them do it through the proper legal channels – the right way – which are all too often forgotten in debates over border security and illegal immigration. And it helps the many immigrants who are already living and working here on temporary visas obtain permanent residence they’ve earned through hard work and dedication to our country and its values, raising their families and children as Americans right here in our communities.”

This bill has 325 cosponsors, including 174 Democrats and 151 Republicans.

Compete America and FWD.us support this bill. FWD.us’ President, Todd Schulte, said:

“Under the current system, no more than 7 percent of employment-based green cards are conferred to highly-skilled workers from any one country. The proposed bill would make it possible for the United States to continue attracting the best and the brightest scientists, engineers, architects and researchers without discriminating against applicants because of where they were born. H.R. 392 is a sensible step toward building a targeted high-skilled immigration system that will help us win the global race for talent, create millions of American jobs and boost wages for the middle class in the 21st century economy.”

NumbersUSA, the nation’s largest interest group that supports reduced levels of immigration, hasn’t taken a position on this bill’s previous iterations since it will not change overall immigration levels.

An identical version of this bill passed the House during the 112th Congress with a bipartisan vote of 389 to 15. Subsequent versions were introduced in the 113th (HR 633) and 114th (HR 213) Congresses, but didn’t receive a vote.


Of Note: Under the current immigration system, immigrants from any one country can claim no more than 7% of the 140,000 employment-based green cards issued annually to foreign nationals working in the U.S. This significantly disadvantages immigrants from larger countries that more immigrants come from.

For example, China (population 1.3 billion) and India have large backlogs of workers wishing to immigrate to and work in the U.S., but they have the name visa caps as countries such as Iceland or Estonia (population 1.3 million), which have both much smaller populations and far fewer citizens seeking to immigrate to the U.S.

The net effect of this is that immigrants from India and China can face decades-long waits, averaging 2-3 times the wait times for immigrants from other countries, for green cards, and many have to return home because they can’t get permanent residency; meanwhile, countries such as Iceland and Estonia never come close to reaching their visa limit caps.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: brazzo / iStock)

AKA

Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017

Official Title

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.

    I really support this bill. There are millions of highly skills double masters graduated workers working with large financial firms, technology companies , and wanting to work for the betterment of America by wanting to create their own startups and employ people. This is not possible till they attain the green card. We are legal, approved and well qualified immigrants who want to do so much more but simply cannot as we have to wait 20 years simply to get a green card. This small group has been overlooked for many years and the backlog has simply kept on increasing. Problems of the H1-B visa. The H1-B visa system has created a class of workers with fewer rights (whose whole lives get uprooted when they lose their jobs), bad employers have come prefer workers that have fewer rights - since we work harder for less and the abuses we are seeing are a logical market-driven outcome of a broken system.The Problem: The root cause of the unnecessary long Green Card backlogs for people approved Employment Based Immigration Petitions is the 7% per- country cap on Employment based Green Cards. The 7% per-country cap on employment based Green Cards means that a country like Greenland with a population of 50,000 is allocated the same number of Green Cards as a country like India with over a billion people. H1-B visas which are a funnel into the Employment Based Green Card system have no per-country caps, so it makes no sense to have a per-country cap on the number Employment Based Green Cards.
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    Heck NO! I'll support this bill ONLY after you pass a Fairness for High-Skilled AMERICAN CITIZENS Act! H.R.392 - Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017 Sponsor: Rep. Chaffetz, Jason [R-UT-3] Cosponsors: Rep. Bishop, Mike [R-MI-8]* Rep. Cohen, Steve [D-TN-9]* Rep. Comstock, Barbara [R-VA-10]* Rep. Connolly, Gerald E. [D-VA-11]* Rep. Courtney, Joe [D-CT-2]* Rep. Cummings, Elijah E. [D-MD-7]* Rep. Deutch, Theodore E. [D-FL-22]* Rep. Farenthold, Blake [R-TX-27]* Rep. Kelly, Robin L. [D-IL-2]* Rep. Langevin, James R. [D-RI-2]* Rep. Love, Mia B. [R-UT-4]* Rep. Meng, Grace [D-NY-6]* Rep. O'Rourke, Beto [D-TX-16]* Rep. Paulsen, Erik [R-MN-3]* Rep. Pearce, Stevan [R-NM-2]* Rep. Quigley, Mike [D-IL-5]* Rep. Ryan, Tim [D-OH-13]* Rep. Slaughter, Louise McIntosh [D-NY-25]* Rep. Stefanik, Elise M. [R-NY-21]* Rep. Stewart, Chris [R-UT-2]* Rep. Swalwell, Eric [D-CA-15]* Rep. Takano, Mark [D-CA-41]* Rep. Wagner, Ann [R-MO-2]* Rep. Walz, Timothy J. [D-MN-1]* Rep. Yarmuth, John A. [D-KY-3]* Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2] Rep. Russell, Steve [R-OK-5] Rep. Labrador, Raul R. [R-ID-1] Rep. Matsui, Doris O. [D-CA-6] Rep. Ellison, Keith [D-MN-5] Rep. Pascrell, Bill, Jr. [D-NJ-9] Rep. McCollum, Betty [D-MN-4] Rep. Coffman, Mike [R-CO-6] Rep. Foster, Bill [D-IL-11] Rep. Reichert, David G. [R-WA-8] Rep. Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS-2] Rep. Krishnamoorthi, Raja [D-IL-8] Rep. Larsen, Rick [D-WA-2] Summary: A summary is in progress. Below is a summary of H.R. 213 (114th): Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 Sponsored by Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT3) with cosponsors Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID1) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA19), the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2015 would update the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate country-based restrictions on employment visas and to reduce country-based restrictions on family visas. Press release: http://chaffetz.house.gov/press-release/chaffetz-introduces-fairer-system-distribution-high-skilled-immigrants-visas The original Act limits the combined total of work and family visas for immigrant from any country at 7% of available visas. H.R. 213 would amend this to increase the limit to 15% and make the limit apply only to family-sponsored immigrants. While this could result in an increase in the number of immigrants from any given country that could obtain a visa, it would not change the total number of visas within a given fiscal year. Both cosponsors are senior members of the Immigration and Border Security subcommittee of the House Judiciary committee to which the bill has been referred. The bill has gained bipartisan support. Text of bill: https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr392/BILLS-115hr392ih.pdf
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    This bill does not increase the number of immigrants but, provides fairness to the people stuck in the backlog for green card.
    Like (90)
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    Great arguments from both sides. But I am inclined towards supporting this reform. I learned about this when a doctor from India in our local hospital treated me. We live in one of the inner cities and having talented guys like him have helped the community significantly. On talking more with him I found out that he has been having nightmares because of his visa renewals. I am very convinced and want all good samaritans like him to stay and contribute. There might be people who won't agree with me and that's OK.
    Like (55)
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    Seriously? Heck No. Fairness for American citizens, of all skill levels, first and foremost above all non-citizens!
    Like (53)
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    No. Not until Trump is out of office. Currently, the US is not safe for men, women, or children born outside the country. Any day Trump could start building immigrants "work camps" and I am not sure congress, the DOJ, or SCOTUS have the balls to stop him. We are also a prime target for a foreign military strike, since we have turned our back on our allies. 🚧 If anything we need to get our children to safety until congress can man up and "25 the 45."
    Like (51)
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    This is truly an enforcement bill and will make it fair for the American workers. It's high time these companies stop exploiting people due to these backlogs which has 1.5 Million families in a limbo.
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    It is in the countries best interest to bring in as many of the best and brightest to contribute to the betterment of the culture and our economy. Why would we be leaving any of these people out to bring their resources to other countries we will then compete against.
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    This bill has nothing to do with taking away jobs from US citizens. The US immigration system is immensely backlogged. People have been waiting DECADES, while continuing to pay money to the US immigration system, to get over the last hurdle to US permanent residence.
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    Definitely in favor, this bill is necessary not only due to fairness but also because of better American economy. What we are not understanding is that after passing this bill you are preferring more entrepreneurs than low skilled people in America which will create jobs. So win win situation for all Americans. This is what President Trump even says - merit based immigration
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    This will help a section of the legal immigrant community who as per today's estimates, would have to wait for 20-30 years to get a residency. 20-30 years is too long a time to be in a quandry after having made a life here in this great country.
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    This is the right thing to do!
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    No leave it like it is, too many get in already.
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    We need to have people the most qualified individuals at the lowest price to be competitive.
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    This is the bare minimum reform that needs to be passed for Legal Immigration in the 21st century.
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    No. There are still veterans out of work and overwhelming numbers of h1b visas already.
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    They are discriminating, arbitrary, and not based on any scientific evidence. This isn’t a buffet. “I’ll take 20 Danish, half a dozen Brazilian, and a Java. No Arabs, please, they give me indigestion.” Uhhhhh No. Not okay. The per country limits create a class of people living in indentured servitude to the corporation that sponsored their visa. These are legal documented workers already in the USA and welcomed by the companies that hired them. Unfortunately the green card limbo keeps these people dangling in dependence on their visa sponsorship. Unscrupulous corporations pay significantly less to these people and it depresses wages for everyone. As long as corporations can pay less, they will be incentivize to do so. Speedy green card service eliminates this trap and gives workers more leverage. Higher wages all around. Also, 140,000 a year is too low. Try 500,000. We need more willing workers.
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    There are too many Americans out of work. America First! Once every American who wants to work can obtain a job, then we'll worry about immigrants.
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    Absolutely not. The H-1B visa has been abused by outsourcing companies importing low skilled Indian labor with fake degrees and qualifications and after clogging the H-1B visa and distorting the spirit of the law now they want to do the same thing to the permanent residence categories. The system should be totally overhauled with people with qualifications from US and foreign diploma mills (most foreign universities) and experience from outsourcing companies denied permanent residence and H-1B visas. This would solve the problem with country allocation and would curtail the practice of replacing US workers with low-skilled, under-qualified and unproductive foreign labor.
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    Both the H1-B and H2-B visa programs are ripe with fraud and abuse. We read almost daily of another American company replacing all of their American employees with low-wage foreign labor. Further, these programs account for large numbers of more immigants due to chain migration. We need to severely curtail these programs and make changes to level the playing field for American workers,
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