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H.R.1044 / S.386 - Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019

Photo of Congress member Senator Mike Lee

To amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to eliminate the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants, to increase the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and for other purposes.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe the restriction limit on the number of visas awarded is low and we need to provide fairness to highly skilled immigrants who are stuck on a backlog for their green cards. By increasing the chances for highly skilled immigrants to be awarded more visas, our country’s economy will be at a better place to compete with other global economies.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that highly skilled immigrants already have a decent chance of getting their green cards approved, even if there is a backlog. This legislation does not put American citizens first above non-citizens.


Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act would remove the per-country caps for employment-based green cards.

The bill eliminates the per-country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrant visas, increases the per-country numerical limitation for family-sponsored immigrants, and lifts the restriction limit on the number of visas awarded to highly skilled immigrants.

The legislation would increase the per country numerical limitation for family based immigrants from 7% to 15% of the total number of family-sponsored visas awarded. It also amends the Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992, eliminating a provision that required a reduction of annual Chinese immigrant visas to offset status adjustment under such act.

It also replaces the current per-country cap on immigration with a first-come first-served visa system. Our current system has created a backlog of well over a decade for some highly skilled immigrants, while equally skilled individuals from other countries have far shorter waiting periods. This bill aims to resolve this issue.

The bill has bipartisan support and is endorsed by Immigration Voice, Compete America Coalition, the Information Technology Industry Council, Google, Microsoft, The Heritage Foundation, La Raza, and many others.

“Immigrants should not be penalized due to their country of origin,” Sen. Lee (R-UT) said, sponsor and author of the bill. “Treating people fairly and equally is part of our founding creed and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act reflects that belief. Immigration is often a contentious issue, but we should not delay progress in areas where there is bipartisan consensus just because we have differences in a other areas."

“Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” Sen. Harris (D-CA) said, cosponsor of the legislation. “We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to the economy. I’m proud to join with Senator Lee on this bipartisan legislation to ensure that our country remains vibrant and dynamic.”


H.R.1044

Sponsored by: Rep. Lofgren, Zoe [D-CA-19].

Cosponsored by: 12 Rep / 9 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


S.386

Sponsored by: Sen. Lee, Mike [R-UT].

Cosponsored by: 0 Rep / 1 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.

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