Flying to the US capital from as far as California, Texas and Chicago and driving several hundred miles from places like Florida, New York and Massachusetts, these highly skilled Indians, living in the US for the past several years and in many cases for more than a decade, urged Trump to end the per country limit on legal permanent residency so as to eliminate the massive Green Card backlog of highly skilled Indians.
“We are looking strictly for a merit-based immigration. That will bring prosperity and fast economic growth of the US,” Krishna Bansal, national policy and political director of Republican Hindu Coalition, told the rally of highly skilled Indians, who want to make the US now their permanent home.
“We are with President Trump for taking initiative towards a merit-based immigration system,” Bansal said, adding that his group is working with the White House and lawmakers towards a comprehensive immigration bill that should include all these things.
Giving green cards to thousands of highly skilled professionals from India would help them realise their full potential and boost country’s growth and prosperity, he said.
The participants, many of them software engineers, at the rally yesterday had banner and posters with slogans like ‘Cut Green Card backlog’, ‘strictly merit-based point system’, ‘end country limit’, ‘we need to support legal dreamers’, and ‘We support Trump.
This was one of the rare pro-Trump immigration rallies at the White House.
President Trump last week used his first State of the Union address to push for the merit-based immigration system that admits skilled people, a proposal that could benefit technology professionals from countries like India.
“It is time to begin moving towards a merit-based immigration system — one that admits people who are skilled, who want to work, who will contribute to our society, and who will love and respect our country,” Trump had said.
Akshita Ramesh, 13, a student of Ronald Regan Middle School in Virginia, said that green card backlogs have been taunting most high skilled immigrants who have come to this country for a better life.
“The wait expectancy for a green card for a high skilled immigrant from India tends to be somewhat from 12 Years to 70+ Years, when most of the world can get their Green Card in less than 2 years,” she said.
Thanjavur-born, Akshita was one and half year old when she moved to the US along with her father Ramesh Ranathan, who is in the IT profession and had a H-1B visa.
According to Republican Hindu Coalition, there are nearly 200,000 children of legal immigrants-in-line from India, who have never broken the law, but who simply age out at 21 and have to go back, because their parents have a 60 year wait to get their green card after it is approved.