The immigration reform bill aims to significantly reduce large backlogs that have built up over decades past, a move that would help to calm the many who have been waiting patiently for years to receive their Green Card.
It would allow a surge of legal immigrants that will shorten the average wait times and increase the number of people who can receive Green Cards. The bill also seeks to prevent future backlogs from forming by getting rid of visa preferences for both married children (over the age of 31) and siblings of U.S. citizens (of which there are now almost 2.5 million on the Green Card waiting list).
The bill, which the Senate passed in June, implements a point-based system which gives preference to visa seekers who are fluent in English, well-educated and possess other skills deemed important to improving America’s global economic stance. It seeks to eliminate all backlogs by allocating visas to applicants with pending applications over course of seven years, starting in 2015.
It would also eliminate country-specific limits on employment-based immigrant visas, something that has increased wait times for those wishing to come from large countries in the past.
House Republicans, however, have specified that they will pursue an alternative approach to the issue of immigration reform, instead opting to address it in small pieces. The large backlog has prevented almost 4.5 million people from getting a Green Card.
While a push for immigration reform to help those stuck in the backlog is intensifying, it may still be some time before a majority of representatives from both sides agree to pass specific measures that would relieve the pain of those locked in the system.
More on Immigration Reform:
- Immigration Reform 2013
- Gang of 8
- Earned Citizenship
- Streamlining Immigration
- Strengthening Border Security
- More Accountability for Employers Hiring Undocumented Immigrants