On the evening of November 29, 2011, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011, H.R. 3012, passed the House by a 389-15 vote. This bill eliminates the country-based percentage cap on the number of employment visas issued annually. Currently, 140,000 employment visas are issued and every country is limited to 7% of those admitted.
This cap has caused serious delays within the current system, making the United States less competitive and accepting to those who want to contribute to our nation. According to the nonpartisan National Foundation for American Policy, applicants from India must wait up to 70 year in order to obtain employment-based visas. Applicants from China wait up to 20 years.
A similar measure (S. 1857) has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).
NETWORK supports this bill since it aims to speed up immigration processing of applications and ease the restrictions on immigration of high skilled workers. But it overlooks the more essential and vital reform needed in our entire immigration system. Immigrants of all skill levels should be able to contribute to our nation in their respective fields. A sane family based policy also needs to be enacted.
This bill is simply a small part of the comprehensive reform needed to ensure that we remain economically competitive and stay true to our values as a country.