Immigration Voice, a national non-profit organization with over 130,000 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, expresses its profound disappointment in Senator Durbin’s decision to block the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 from the passage on the floor of the Senate.

On July 10, 2019, the bill passed the House by a 365-65 margin. This bill was the first bipartisan immigration bill that passed either the House or the Senate this year. 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 immigrants in the United States with a decades-long line while individuals from other countries get preferential treatment and face no wait time to receive a green card.

Senator Mike Lee, the lead sponsor of the bill (S.386) in the Senate attempted to pass this bipartisan bill (which is also led by Senator Kamala Harris) by unanimous consent and was surprisingly and disapprovingly blocked from doing so by Senator Dick Durbin. Senator Durbin, who co-sponsored this bill in the 112th Congress, is now insisting that Republicans must agree to add an additional five (5) million green cards over the next five years in order to support ending discrimination in our legal immigration system.

Aman Kapoor, the Co-Founder and President of Immigration Voice stated that: “Immigration Voice is incredibly disappointed in Senator Durbin’s decision to block to be the only Senator against treating all human beings equally when it comes to waiting time for employment-based green cards. Senator Durbin knows full well that he is blocking a bill that was written by Democrats and whose sole purpose is to end national origin-based discrimination. But, unfortunately, because he has had a long history of attacking immigrants from India, including at a recent town hall he engineered and choreographed for this purpose, has introduced a poison pill bill/amendment that he knows full well cannot pass. No member of our group asked to be born in India. But because of the misfortune of the longitude and latitude of our birthplace, we will die waiting in the green card line while people born 10 miles away can get a green card immediately. We ask Senator Durbin today to tell us what country he thinks is acceptable for us to say we were born in, and to tell us how we can change our place of birth so that we can be viewed as human beings with equal rights in his eyes.”