Two dozen organizations have written the Senate to warn against the passage of S. 386, the so-called Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, given the harm it would do to immigrant communities while failing to fix the green card backlog. The signers – including Asian Americans Advancing Justice, NIAC Action, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) and United We Dream – represent a diverse array of immigrant communities, all of whom would be harmed by the end of country caps without new green cards to clear the existing green card backlog.
According to the letter, S. 386 “would not fix the green card backlog, would reduce the diversity of the green card process and pit one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken and inherently unequal system.” Rather than pass a deeply flawed bill without serious debate, the groups call on the Senate to hold a hearing and instead consider alternatives – like Sen. Durbin’s RELIEF Act (S. 2603) – that would offer a true solution to the backlog and immigrant communities.
The text of the letter is below:
August 3, 2020
To: Members of the U.S. Senate
Dear Honorable Senators,
As organizations representing a diverse number of immigrant communities, we write to express our continued concern with the so-called Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044/S. 386). There is a fierce and ugly lobbying campaign underway to intimidate Senators into accepting S. 386, which would not fix the green card backlog, would reduce the diversity of the green card process and pit one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken and inherently unequal system.
How to address the green card backlog is not a question that should play out behind closed doors and with no public hearing. There are preferable alternatives to the deeply problematic S. 386. Sen. Dick Durbin’s Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employees and Families (RELIEF) Act would actually address the green card backlog by making more green cards available, protecting the diversity of the green card process and minimizing the negative repercussions of removing the country caps. The RELIEF Act does not offer a zero-sum approach that prioritizes one group of immigrants to the exclusion of others. Sen. Durbin deserves credit for offering a real solution that protects immigrant communities, and has even negotiated a compromise across the aisle on this contentious issue which has since been reneged on.
We encourage the Senate to hold a hearing on the green card backlog and consult with the many immigrant groups who would be harmed by the passage of S. 386, rather than settle for a bill that would create new problems without solving the underlying challenge at hand of too few green cards available.
All of Us
American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Church World Service
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Empowering Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC)
The Japanese American Citizens League
National Iranian American Council Action
National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
National Network for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates
Poligon Education Fund
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
Southeast Asia Resource Action Center
T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights
United Chinese Americans
United We Dream
Wind of the Spirit Immigrant Resource Center
Yemeni American Merchants Association (YAMA)