Green Card waitlist for Indians is over 195 yrs: US senator

Lalit K Jha / Washington

The backlog for an Indian national to get permanent residency or Green Card is more than 195 years, a top Republican senator has said, urging his Senate colleagues to come out with a legislative resolution to address this problem. A Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, issued to immigrants to the US as evidence the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently.

Senator Mike Lee said on Wednesday the current Green Card policy did nothing for the child of an immigrant whose dead parent's Green Card application was ultimately denied because his or her job was no longer available.

“Someone from India entering the backlog today would have to wait 195 years to receive an EB-3 green card. Even if we give their children this limbo status, none of them will have a prayer of becoming a US citizen,” Lee said on the Senator floor.

In fiscal year 2019, Indian nationals received 9,008 category 1 (EB1), 2,908 category 2 (EB2), and 5,083 category 3 (EB3) Green Cards. EB1-3 are different categories of employment-based Green Cards.

Lee, the senator from Utah, was speaking on the legislation moved by Senator Dick Durbin that seeks to protect immigrant workers and their children who are stuck in the green card backlog. "Green cards are critical in the lives of so many who are here on temporary work visas. The backlog puts families at risk of losing their immigration status as they wait year after weary year to finally make it through this green card backlog," Durbin said.

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