Over 500 highly skilled immigrants from around the United States—including doctors, scientists, engineers, and software developers—have convened in Washington, DC as part of a national fly-in to ask their Members of Congress and Senators to allow them to pay for the border wall or any other border security measures that would be included as part of a DACA deal in exchange for receiving equal treatment on Green Card Waiting Times.
Those 500 immigrants, mostly from India, are part of a group called Immigration Voice, a national non-profit organization with over 100,000 members that advocates for the alleviation of restrictions on employment, travel, and working conditions faced by legal high-skilled immigrants in the United States working as doctors, researchers, scientists, and engineers at many of America’s Fortune 500 companies.
They are advocating in support of including a bill called H.R. 392, the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017, as part of a DACA deal. The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act creates a fair and equitable, “first come, first serve” system for receiving employment-based green cards, putting an end to the discriminatory quota system that has left over 1 million Indian high-skilled workers in the United States with a decades-long line while individuals from other countries face no wait time at all to receive a green card.
The bill has over 300 cosponsors and a strong majority of members in both the Republican Conference and the Democratic Caucus and is one of the most bipartisan bills in the entire Congress. Although this bill has been very popular since 2011, when it passed the House with a resounding bipartisan vote of 389 to 15, it has been unable to pass both houses because it has not received a vote in the Senate.
The new revenue-generating enhancement Immigration Voice is introducing into the debate is to advocate for bill H.R. 392 to be passed along with amended language containing a fee that can be assessed upon the beneficiaries of the legislation that will raise billions of dollars. These critical funds can be used to enhance the likelihood of passage of a DACA deal, by either enabling Congress to pay for a border wall or other security measures in a manner that does not increase deficits, burden U.S. taxpayers, or cause any opposition to the nature of the funding source. The highly skilled beneficiaries of the bill would gladly pay a fee in order to be able to start their own companies, employ American workers, change jobs, and obtain certainty over their immigration status.
Aman Kapoor, the Co-Founder and President of Immigration Voice stated that: “Indian high-skilled workers will gladly, enthusiastically and happily pay for the border security or the wall if given an opportunity to do so in order to get fair treatment on green card waiting times. This is a win-win (situation) for everybody, it allows President Trump to fulfill his campaign promises to build a wall that is not paid for by American citizens and would end the incentive to hire foreign workers over Americans. It would help to grow our economy by allowing highly skilled immigrants to start their own companies and hire American workers. And, finally, it would provide a critical and non-controversial funding source for the kind of DACA compromise that many members in both parties have said is necessary.”