Dear Friends,

In case you missed Senator Dick Durbin’s shenanigans today on the Senate floor, you can see them here. We hope you will now believe what we have been saying to you all along about Durbin.

Some of the highlights of today’s Unanimous Consent request drama are:

Senator Dick Durbin’s lies about the three (3) year wait on 50-50 rule being the main hold-up:

The 50-50 rule is an amendment to S.386 – The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act that bars H1-B dependent companies from getting more H1-B visas. We support the 50-50 rule, however, one change requested by the administration was that the implementation, of the 50-50 rule, be delayed by three (3) years.

Senator Durbin attacked Senator Lee by insinuating that somehow Senator Lee requested the change and secondly that the three (3) year wait on the 50-50 rule somehow was a stumbling block in the negotiations when in-fact this wait time was requested by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for 2 reasons:

  1. The main reason was to make sure that the funds brought in by the 50-50 companies which pay for border security, entry-exit biometrics, and other important programs are not abruptly cut off.
  2. Give United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigrants & employers time to adjust to the new system.

This is not difficult to understand and Durbin is transparently and unconvincingly trying to rake up fake conspiracy theories to absolve himself from his racist behavior.

The truth is, if #S386 – The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act passes, abusive 50-50 companies will be blocked from getting more H1-B visas after a transition period (which was requested by DHS and the transition period is negotiable), if it does not pass, then the abuse will continue indefinitely.

By blocking S.386 – The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, Senator Dick Durbin is making sure that the abuse which he claims to oppose will continue indefinitely. The truth is Durbin manufactured this 50-50 dispute to cover up for his racism and bigotry against Indian immigrants.

Senator Dick Durbin’s unreasonableness:

Senator Durbin made no attempt to find common ground with Senator Lee, instead, he lied, misrepresented facts, and attacked Senator Lee – and we are grateful to Senator Lee for standing his ground and calling Senator Durbin’s lies out.

Senator Lee also made it clear that he is willing and able to negotiate with Senator Durbin at any time on any of the disagreements they might have, but Senator Durbin is one who is being unreasonable and unwilling to negotiate to find a common ground.

Senator Dick Durbin’s “new bill” (introduced today) to protect aging out children:

Today, Senator Dick Durbin attempted to pass a bill by (unanimous consent) that he introduced to protect aging out kids. To judge Senator Durbin’s sincerity in this, consider the following facts:

  • This bill was introduced this morning. It doesn’t even have a number.
  • For 18 years Senator Durbin has not added the aging out children of Indian immigrants into his DREAM Act – even after we asked him to fix it many times. Over the years, Durbin’s Office berated us every time we requested their consideration for adding our children to the DREAM ACT. But now, all of a sudden he pretends as if he cares for children.

The fact of the matter is Durbin is just playing his dirty tricks. He first tried to distract us with the RELIEF Act (which doubled total immigration). Then to divide us, Durbin pushed for a special bill for Doctors and Nurses. Now this new bill “to help children” which no one has seen, and just like the RELIEF Act and Healthcare workers bill, this bill also cannot pass.

This new bill is a new low for Senator Durbin. He is literally trying to pit children against their own parents. Durbin’s actions disgust us and this is dishonorable conduct.

Durbin is trying to divide and distract us from one simple fact – national origin discrimination is wrong and Durbin is a racist for trying to perpetuate it.

Dick Durbin’s lies about material changes in the deal made between him and Senator Lee in December. Specifically:

Change #1 “Do No Harm Clause”: Senator Durbin claimed that the “Do No Harm” clause was removed.

The fact is USCIS said that this current “Do No Harm” language is too vague, and it will open up room for interpretation and unnecessary lawsuits. So, the agency provided the number of currently approved immigrant petitions (I-140) and asked that this number of green cards be added to the transition period in lieu of the “Do No Harm” clause.

So, the proposed change is to replace the current 3-year transition of 15%, 10% and 10% reserved green cards to 9-years transition of 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 10%, 5%, 5%, 5% reserved green cards for non-backlogged countries.

In essence, the “Do No Harm” provision was functionally recreated through a provision of the bill that dramatically expanded (more than doubling) the number of green cards reserved for the non-backlogged countries for the next nine (9) years.

Thus, the new proposed language achieves the same goal as the “Do No Harm”. How can any reasonable person be opposed to this change?

Change #2 “Early Filing” Wait Times: Durbin-Lee compromise has a provision called “Early-Filing” of applications for Adjustment of Status for immigrants with approved immigrant/green card petitions. But the issue is that the agency is not currently equipped to receive and process hundreds and thousands of Adjustment of Status applications. Therefore, to hire the resources, background check, and train adjudicators, the agency requested to have an opportunity to prepare for thousands of Adjustment of Status applications of the current immigrants, and, to space out the flow of applications. That is why the agency requested that the Early Filing provision would not begin for 1 year after the bill passes. In addition, individuals would be required to wait 2 years before qualifying for Early Filing of Adjustment of Status petitions, to prevent everyone from applying at the same time and creating bottlenecks or resource constraints.

Again, this is a million times better than the status quo, even though none of the changes help the current backlogged individuals. The “Early Filing” track is in parallel to the current system in which immigrants with approved immigrant petition can file Adjustment of Status when the priority date is current. But as always, Senator Durbin is fully capable of potentially holding up the bill over this, even though the “Early-Filing” provision with 1 year in implementation and 2 year wait time to file Adjustment of Status – is a million times better than the current system.

Change #3 50/50 Ban effective date in three (3) years: The Durbin-Lee compromise included a provision called 50/50 ban. It means any company with more than 50 employees can no-longer have more than 50% of their employees on H1 visa or L1 visa. Immigration Voice wholeheartedly supports this provision.

However, currently, the H1 visa dependent companies pay an additional $4,000 for each H1 visa petition. This money is allocated towards funding DHS programs including entry/exit biometrics as well as funding healthcare for 9/11 first-responders. That is why there is a concern about the effects of a 50/50 ban on the agency budget and workload if the 50/50 ban was implemented immediately.

Therefore, the USCIS proposed that the implementation of the 50/50 ban will be phased over 3 years to coincide with commitments made for fee revenue from these visas to fund DHS programs including entry/exit biometrics as well as funding healthcare for 9/11 first-responders.

In Essence:

Today, Durbin tried to put on a show that he wants to do something for the people suffering in the backlog. But we know his approach is not intended to reach a deal.

A person who wants to reach a deal does not create floor drama over paper-thin policy differences that can be resolved in a 1-hour meeting. Instead, the person who wants to reach a deal would insist on meeting with their counterparts and keep making offers until a deal can be reached that is acceptable to all sides.

The current system of Employment-Based immigration is pure discrimination and the “visa bulletin” is monthly “hate speech” designed to show us how low and unequal we are considered. This must change and Durbin will continue to be criticized and called-out until he sees that this law must be changed purely on principle. There is no earthly reason to ever treat one human being vastly different than another based on immutable factors. Right now, there is a permanent ban on any new Indians getting Employment-Based green cards unless the law changes.

Durbin tried to create an illusionary trick and false choice on the Senate floor that as if one must pick from the false choice between the status of immigrant children and equality for immigrant parents. This is like a false choice saying as if one has to choose between cutting your hands or cutting your legs.

We need both hands and legs to stay alive. Likewise, we need to protect the children’s status and equality for immigrant parents, which is achieved by the bill Senator Lee asked to Live UC, which Durbin blocked.

If in 1965, Durbin proposed a bill that only children of African-Americans will get some relief (still be considered unequal), but the society and system will continue hard racist segregation against parents, then everybody would have rejected such loose talk. But that is what Durbin did today on the Senate floor.

So of course we will speak the truth to loudly tell everyone one more time that Durbin is to blame if he holds up the bill over minor policy differences when all he has to do is to negotiate to get this bill done.

Senator Durbin the ball is in your court. We take no pleasure in criticizing you. Our dream is to dance with you in celebration at a party when this bill is passed. But you and you alone are keeping this permanent green card ban in place to systematically discriminate against Indian immigrants. Please do the right thing, and until then, we will continue to do the right thing to create more awareness about your actions.

If there was ever any doubt, we hope that today’s events will have opened your eyes towards Senator Durbin’s racism and bigotry towards brown-skinned Indian immigrants. We hope you will now see that what we have been telling you about Durbin since last September has been true all along.

Immigration Voice