US President-elect Joe Biden will work on a plan to help provide American citizenship to nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants, including over 500,000 Indians.
He reportedly also plans to increase the number of H-1B and other high-skill visas as well as eliminate the cap on employment-based visas by country apart from establishing a minimum admission number of 95,000 refugees annually.
Many of his plans will involve a reversal of policies put in place by the Donald Trump administration which had limited the number of high-skill visas as well as put in place other restrictions like revoking work permits to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.
“He (Biden) will immediately begin working with Congress to pass legislative immigration reform that modernises our system, with a priority on keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants — including more than 500,000 from India,” read a policy document released by the Biden campaign.
As a largely immigrant community, but in some cases with American roots reaching back generations, Indian-Americans know firsthand the strength and resilience that immigrants bring to the US, the document states.
The document says that the new Biden administration will support family-based immigration and preserve family unification as a core principle of the US immigration system as well as restore and defend the naturalisation process for green card holders.
“He (Biden) will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any cap recent graduates of Ph.D. programmes in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields,” the document further stated.
“He will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, speciality jobs to protect wages and workers, then expanding the number of visas offered and eliminating the limits on employment-based green cards by country, which have kept so many Indian families in waiting for too long,” it said.
“High skilled temporary visas should not be used to disincentivise recruiting workers already in the U.S. for in-demand occupations. An immigration system that crowds out high-skilled workers in favour of only entry level wages and skills threatens American innovation and competitiveness,” the document continued.
“Biden will work with Congress to first reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure they are aligned with the labour market and not used to undermine wages. Then, Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs,” it read.