Three influential U.S. Congressmen, including Indian-Americans Raja Krishnamoorthi and Pramila Jayapal, have introduced HR 6542, the Immigration Visa Efficiency and Security Act of 2023, marking a significant stride towards U.S. immigration reform. The bill aims to address the green card backlog and eliminate country-based discrimination for employment-based visas, ultimately enhancing the U.S. economy and global competitiveness.
Transforming Immigration: From Birthplace to Merit
The immigration reform proposed by HR 6542 is a shift from the current system that allocates visas based on birthplace, to a merit-based system. This shift is expected to streamline the immigration process, allowing highly skilled workers to contribute more effectively to the nation's growth. The proposed legislation seeks to dismantle the seven percent per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas, a move that would alleviate the decades-long wait for green cards faced by numerous Indian-Americans.
Proposed Measures & Expected Impact
One of the significant measures proposed by the bill includes an increase in the seven-per-country limit on family-sponsored visas to 15 percent. This measure, along with other reforms, is anticipated to reduce the green card backlog significantly. It also aims to enhance the H-1B temporary visa program and introduces an option for individuals in the immigrant visa backlog to file a green card application for two years, with approval contingent on visa availability.
The Broader Picture: Fairness, Efficiency, and Meritocracy
This legislative initiative reflects a concerted effort to reform the U.S. immigration system, promoting fairness, efficiency, and meritocracy. If enacted, HR 6542 is expected to benefit Indian-Americans the most by significantly shortening their wait times for green cards and streamlining the immigration process, thereby allowing highly skilled workers to contribute more effectively to the U.S. economy.