If Democrat Presidential candidate Joe Biden is voted to power in the November general elections, he will to reform the H-1B visa system and work towards eliminating the country-quota for Green Cards, his campaign said on Saturday.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The move is expected to attract the influential Indian-American community.
The policy document was released on India’s 74th Independence Day, the Joe Biden Campaign also emphasised its support to family-based immigration system and streamlining processing for religious worker visas.
The administration will also take steps to stem the rising tide of hate and bigotry, address the security needs of house of worship, eliminate language barriers and honour the diversity and contributions of Indian-Americans, it said.
This is for the first time that a Democratic presidential candidate has come out with an exclusive policy document for Indian-Americans. There are 1.3 million eligible Indian-American voters across eight battleground states.
“He will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programmes in STEM fields,” the campaign said.
“And, he will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, specialty jobs to protect wages and workers, then expanding the number of visas offered and eliminating the limits on employment-based Green Cards by country, which have kept so many Indian families in waiting for too long,” it said.
“He will increase the number of refugees we welcome into this country by setting the annual global refugee admissions target to 125,000 and seek to raise it over time to commensurate with our responsibility, our values, and the unprecedented global need,” it said.
“He will also work with Congress to establish a minimum admissions number of 95,000 refugees annually. Biden will remove the uncertainty for Dreamers by reinstating the DACA programme and explore all legal options to protect their families from inhumane separation,” the campaign said.
It said Biden will end workplace raids and protect other sensitive locations from immigration enforcement actions.
As a largely immigrant community, but in some cases with American roots reaching back generations, Indian-Americans know firsthand the strength and resilience that immigrants bring to the US, the campaign said.
“But President Trump has waged an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants. It”s wrong, and it stops when Biden is president,” it alleged.
“Biden will rescind Trump’s Muslim ban on day one and reverse the detrimental asylum policies that are causing chaos and a humanitarian crisis at our border,” the campaign said.
“He will immediately begin working with Congress to pass legislative immigration reform that modernises our system, with a priority on keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants – including more than 500,000 from India,” it said.