Washington, D.C. – Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) recently introduced H.R. 5921, co-sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), which would eliminate the arbitrary per-country caps for employment-based immigrants. Current law caps at 7% the number of employment-based immigrants that can come from any one country during the year. Because of this cap, a Chinese or Indian post-graduate at the top of his/her class at MIT may have to wait half a decade or more for a green card, much longer than a student from a less-populated country. This limit thus creates arbitrary incentives, often forcing U.S. employers to consider country of birth over talent. In the future, the bill also allows the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of State to use green cards that go unused by allowing them to “roll over” to the next fiscal year. This bill would not authorize any new green cards, but would ensure that green cards authorized by Congress are actually allocated.
“By eliminating per-country caps on employment based visas, this bill gives U.S. employers the ability to hire foreign workers based on merit,” noted Rep. Zoe Lofgren. “U.S. employers are beginning to lose out in the global competition for talent, as more and more countries from around the world adapt their immigration laws to attract talent from overseas. This bill will help insure that the American economy can continue to seek out the best and brightest, regardless of their country origin. America needs a fair and simple immigration system that gives U.S. employers the ability to hire foreign workers on a first-in, first-out basis.”
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is serving her seventh term in Congress representing most of the City of San Jose and Santa Clara County. She serves as Chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law. She also Chairs the House Administration Subcommittee on Elections and serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. Congresswoman Lofgren is Chair of the California Democratic Congressional Delegation consisting of 34 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives from California.