Chair Lofgren Statement on the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

December 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (CA-19) – Chair of the House Immigration and Citizenship Subcommittee and author of H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act – today released the following statement on the status of legislative solutions to improve the employment-based immigrant visa system in America:

“I’m very disappointed that we have not yet been able to reach a compromise between the House and Senate on a version of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act that creates the change we need and that can pass both Chambers of Congress. But I won’t give up hope that ongoing bipartisan and bicameral talks can get us over the finish line in the next Congress. I’ll keep trying.

“Unfortunately, the last-minute additions made in the Senate early this month defeated the congressional intent behind the House-passed bill. The Senate additions would create more backlogs instead of clearing backlogs, which was the very point of the House bill. To be clear, my effort at streamlining the system was aimed at people currently working in the United States – approved for work visas after their employers advertised and found no Americans to fill the job – and who now wait, sometimes for decades, for their visa numbers to finally arrive.

“I have been working for more than 12 years to end the per-country limits. There is simply no reason that the 25 countries of Europe, with a total population of 200 million, should be allocated three times more green cards than the seven countries in the Indian subcontinent, with roughly 1.7 billion inhabitants. Allocating green cards by country of birth is a relic of the past that never made any sense, and it makes even less sense in the modern business world. Members of Congress must work together to get this right.”

Click here for the original text of the House-passed bill.

Click here for the text of the substitute amendment that passed the Senate.

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