The US House of Representatives passed a bill that will give a path to citizenship for children of E3 and H-1B visa holders. The American Dream and Promise Act will give a pathway to citizenship to immigrants who arrived in the US before 21st January 2021. Both lawfully and unlawfully—who were under 18 at that time and meet certain criteria. The legislation is probably going to benefit almost 2.5 million individuals.
Dreamers, or undocumented immigrants who entered the US as children, will be the key beneficiaries of this bill. There are an expected 11 million undocumented immigrants, including more than 500,000 from India. According to a policy document given by the Biden campaign in November last year.
Indians face the longest wait time to obtain a ‘green card’ or permanent residence permit in the US. Almost 70% of the 1.2 million backlogs for PERM or employer-sponsored green cards are Indian nationals.
Path to citizenship for children of H-1B visa holders
A CATO study estimates that more than 66% of minor children of Indian EB-2 and EB-3 green card petitioners on H-4 visas. Around 90,000—could age out when they turn 21 and lose eligibility for green cards because of the long wait times.
The bill has passed in the House with Republican support and will require some Republican senators. To vote for it once it comes up in the US Senate before it can be signed into law by President Joe Biden.
Meanwhile, five Democratic representatives urged president Joe Biden to revoke the Trump-era ban on non-immigrant visas. Including the H-1B and L-1 visas, on the grounds that this was creating uncertainties for American organizations and their foreign-born employees and their families.
Previous President Donald Trump had organized a proclamation in June 2020 stopping the issue of certain non-immigrant visas. Including the H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visas on grounds of securing US jobs during the covid-19 pandemic. This is because of a lapse on 31st March and is probably not going to be extended.