President Obama considers increasing green cards and H-1B visas

While in the midst of considering executive action to address the U.S. immigration crisis, President Barack Obama is also weighing the possibility of increasing the number of green cards and H-1B visas issued to immigrants by as much as 800,000 annually. According to Fox News Latino, technology businesses’ request to expand the number of H-1B visas, which are given to immigrants who come to work in the U.S., may become a reality following a meeting with White House officials in early August.

The approach to immigration reform has not been finalized yet, as President Obama did not make a decision on the next steps. However White House spokesman Shawn Turner said in a statement that the president has a number of potential solutions he’s considering. The Obama administration and immigration advocates would likely be surprised by an increase in available green cards and visas. The source reported that there would also be a relief in the number of deportations for some undocumented immigrants following failure by Congress to address the issue.

One of the requests from technology business leaders was to make changes to the way green cards are counted. By doing this, there would be a reported 800,000 additional H-1B visas available in one year. If green cards are used a different way, then there would be more H-1B visas available for international workers.

If this were to be the solution President Obama pursued, it would encourage immigrants to use legal avenues for coming to the U.S., make it less difficult for companies who want to bring in talent from overseas to do so, and lessen the wait time for sponsored relatives seeking a green card, Fox News Latino reported.

More than 20 meetings have been held with business groups in recent months to try and find a solution for the immigration crisis. The leaders from these companies are making suggestions on how to address the issue and working with the Obama administration on making the pathway to citizenship for immigrants more streamlined.