Democrat Representative Zoe Lofgren and Republican John Curtis introduced the Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2021 in the House of Representatives.
A new legislation that aims to remove the country cap for permanent residency visas has been introduced in the US House of Representatives.
What does EAGLE Act say?
- The bipartisan act seeks to remove the 7% per-country limit on employment-based immigrant visas.
- The per-country limit on family-sponsored visas will also be raised from 7% to 15% under this act.
- It provides for a nine-year period for the elimination of this limit.
- The 7% limit was introduced in the mid-20th century, which has led countries with relatively small populations to be allocated the same number of visas as a relatively large-population country.
- It will “benefit the US economy by allowing American employers to focus on hiring immigrants based on their merit, not their birthplace”.
- It ensures that “no country may receive more than 25 percent of reserved visa and 85 percent of unreserved visas” in the nine fiscal years.
Benefits of Eagle Act for Indians:
- A large proportion of employment‐based visa backlogs comprises Indians.
- The bill will be advantageous for Indian job-seekers who currently rely on temporary visas or await green cards to work in the US.
- The new law could potentially help Indians who are not able to get green cards due to the country caps and the lottery system in the US.
- The think-thank Cato Institute, in March 2020, had reported that 75 percent of the backlog for employment‐based visas was made up of Indians.
- Backlogged Indian workers face an impossible wait of nine decades if they all could remain in the line.
- It implies that more than 200,000 petitions filed for Indians could expire as a result of the workers dying of old age before they receive green cards.