Who We Are!
Support Alliance of US Immigrants (All of Us) is a grassroots organization, mostly made up of international students, workers, researchers holding or studying for US advanced degrees. We already have more than 5,000 members, from at least 50 countries (adding members from more source countries every day). We are set up as a California corporation to do this work.
Our mission is to get Congress to deliver on its promises; to keep skilled immigration – green cards — open to the whole world.
The problem is that the Senate is considering legislation that would choke off green cards for All of Us. This legislation (S.386 in the Senate; HR 1044 has already passed the House) has never had a hearing and has devastating consequences for the future of employment-based immigration, the US economy and workplace diversity.
Recently, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee, and Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), former Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee introduced the RELIEF Act. This bill removes the per-country cap and eliminates the green card backlog in five years, without harming immigrants from the rest of the world. By comparison, S.386 completely halts employment-based immigration from all countries and allocates almost all green card to Indian nationals, yet it does not even reduce the backlog. It only shifts the burden from one nation to the whole world. For every person benefiting from S.386 another life is devastated. The RELIEF Act offers a real solution to the green card backlog. In a press release, Senator Durbin’s office shared the details of this legislation:
“… new legislation that would eliminate the family and employment green card backlog by increasing the number of green cards. Close to four million future Americans are on the State Department’s immigrant visa waiting list, in addition to hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the U.S. who are also waiting for green cards. However, under current law only 226,000 family green cards and 140,000 employment green cards are available annually. Children and spouses of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) count against these numbers, further restricting the number of available green cards.”
“One of the most serious problems in our broken immigration system is that there are not nearly enough green cards available each year. As a result, immigrants are stuck in crippling backlogs for many years,” Durbin said during his speech opposing Bill S.386. “The solution to this backlog is clear: increase the number of green cards. I’m proud to introduce this commonsense legislation to finally eliminate the family and employment green card backlog.” he continued.
“America at its core is a nation of immigrants, but too often our outdated immigration laws close doors to those who would make enormous contributions to our communities and economy. The mismatch between the supply and demand for green cards has left millions of immigrant families in legal limbo, stuck in a years-long backlog waiting for the chance to contribute to our nation,” Leahy said, according to the press release. “This commonsense legislation — the crux of which was contained in comprehensive immigration reform, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate in 2013 — would eliminate this backlog and is long overdue.”
The bill is currently endorsed by multiple national organizations including: All of Us; American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (Order of AHEPA); Ancient Order of Hibernians; Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE)-USA; National Iranian American Council Action; South Asian Americans Leading Together; United Chinese Americans; United Macedonian Diaspora; and United We Dream. New organizations are joining this list every day We are also actively advocating for this bill.
According to the press release, the RELIEF Act specifically will:
- Eliminate the family and employment green card backlog over five years in the order in which applications were filed;
- Keep American families together by classifying spouses and children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs) as immediate relatives and exempting derivative beneficiaries of employment-based petitions from annual green card limits;
- Protect “aging out” children who qualify for LPR status based on a parent’s immigration petition;
- Lift country caps; and,
- Extend the “hold harmless” clause from H.R. 1044 that exempts immigrant visa petitions approved prior to enactment from the lifting of country caps to petitions approved for five years after enactment.
All of Us is a national grassroots organization made up of primarily graduate students and skilled workers on temporary visas from dozens of countries, who believe America should remain open to merit-based immigrants from all nations. We strongly endorse Senator Durbin’s RELIEF Act.
Our members were born in Armenia, Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, China, Columbia, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, Ethiopia, Philippines, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Palestine and Pakistan – as well as the United States. We are medical and scientific researchers working on cures for diseases like cancer and Parkinson’s, on technologies to respond to climate change threats, to create more efficient and profitable businesses: we save lives and create jobs.
Founded this year, All of Us already has more than 4,000 members and chapters in all 50 states. We call on every Senator to support the RELIEF Act – particularly those who claim their support for ending the per-country caps is a matter of principle, and not simply a way to sole source employment-based green cards to IT workers.
Senator Durbin gets it: the backlog for employment-based green cards was created by H-1B abuse – a single industry hiring permanent immigrants on temporary visas. The backlogs are not enough problems – so the answer is more.
All of Us understands the mostly Indian H-1B visa holders on the backlog have a legitimate grievance: they should never have been hired as indentured laborers in the first place. But it doesn’t help victims to make more people suffer – that is why the RELIEF Act is the way to go. Delivering what Congress promised to the backlogged without cutting off immigrant visas to other fields and skills from all over the world is the right answer.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
An Open Letter from All of Us to Immigration Voice: “You have been misled.”
“We should quadruple employment-based legal immigration” – Washington Examiner