Republican Lawmakers Discuss Removing Green Card Cap

Republicans in the House of Representatives are circulating a discussion draft of a bill that would eliminate per-country caps on green cards, according to a report from Computer World.

The plan, which the media outlet reportedly saw a copy of, is being distributed among the Republicans in the House Judiciary Committee. Currently, the federal government issues 140,000 employment-based green cards each year, and limits the distribution per country to no more than 7 percent of the available visas. The limit means that people applying for permanent residence from countries where green card demand is high, such as India and China, sometimes must wait for approval for up to six years.

In addition, the magazine reports that the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security are set to hold a hearing this week on “The Economic Imperative for Enacting Immigration Reform.” The source said it appears as though the hearing will feature individuals in support of boosting green cards for high-skill workers in the US.

Robert Greifeld, CEO of Nasdaq OMX Group, David Skorton, the president of Cornell University, and Brad Smith, who serves as Microsoft’s general counsel, are all scheduled to testify at the hearing.

The measure is similar to legislation recently proposed by US Representative Zoe Lofgren of California, a Democrat. Lofgren, who represents Silicon Valley, proposed issuing more green cards to foreign students pursuing advanced degrees in math and science from top universities.