The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a bill to remove limits on green cards, a move that will benefit thousands of high-skilled information technology professionals, PTI reported.
A green card allows a person to live and work permanently in the United States. The current immigration system imposes a 7% per-country quota on allotment of the cards. The bill aimed to increase the per-country limit on family-based immigrant visas to 15%, and eliminate the 7% per cent cap on employment-based immigrant visas.
The bill was championed by the widow of an Indian man killed in a hate crime, reported The Kansas City Star. Srinivas Kuchibhotla was killed in a shooting at restaurant in Olathe in Kansas in February 2017. His wife Sunayana Dumala made multiple visits to Washington to advocate for the legislation.
Under the current system, Dumala and other immigrants from India and China live in the country on temporary work visas that are tied to their employer. The families of immigrants are also dependent on their work status.
“After the tragic murder of my husband, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, I lost my status to stay in the country and the immigration struggle took over my grief,” Dumala said in a statement on Wednesday. “And today, with HR 1044 getting passed, I can finally find peace and no words can express my happiness.”
Dumala said it was an important day and “a moment we have been waiting for years”. “Finally, our hard work and tireless efforts have come into fruition.”
The bill has to be passed by the Senate, where Republicans enjoy a majority, before it can be signed into law by President Donald Trump.