Coalition Letter to U.S. Senate Opposing Green Card Bill that Exacerbates the Problem

Today, NIAC Action organized and sent a letter to U.S Senators concerning our opposition to  H.R. 1044/ S. 386. Signatories of the letter included the Arab American Institute, Council on American-Islamic Relations, SAALT, as well as 11 other organizations that represent immigrant communities that would be affected by the bill. 

Why We Oppose the Green Card Bill

This legislation, disingenuously named the Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act (H.R. 1044 & S. 386), would effectively close the path to green cards for Iranian nationals as well as for virtually every other nationality. It would add years of delay to the green card process for Iranians already subject to single-entry visas and the Muslim Ban. At a time when this administration has demonized immigrants from numerous countries, we believe that none of these ineffective, harmful policies, including H.R. 1044, occur in a vacuum. The best remedy for the green card backlog is to increase the number of green cards available, not pit groups of immigrants against each other, forcing them to fight for the meager amount of green cards currently available. 

What We Are Doing to Fight Back

Iranian nationals and Iranian Americans are currently being attacked from all sides. Accompanying the U.S. failed maximum pressure in Iran is the maximum restrictions on Iranians and Iranian Americans in the United States–as seen through extreme vetting and the Muslim Ban. 

NIAC Action has secured commitments from multiple U.S. Senators to block passage of H.R.1044 by unanimous consent. In addition to organizing this coalition letter, we will continue to work tirelessly with our allies in the House and Senate to ensure the bill does not become law and to explore every possible avenue to ensure only a solution that is truly fair to all immigrants can move forward. 

Take Action!

This work requires resources and our community faces political challenges that we need YOUR help to overcome. Help keep the path to green cards open for Iranians. You can contribute to this effort by contacting your lawmakers and by making a donation to ensure we continue to have the resources to stop this bill.

September 25, 2019

To: Members of the U.S. Senate

Dear Honorable Senators,

As organizations representing immigrant communities who would be harmed by H.R. 1044/S. 386, the so-called Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act, we write to express our opposition to this legislation. Given that this proposal would remove a pillar of our immigration system and have significant repercussions, we urge Senators to block the bill from moving forward for unanimous consent.

We do so for the following reasons:

  1. The bill would not fix the green card backlog faced by visa applicants. Instead, it would merely shift the backlog onto other nationals, reducing the diversity of the green card process.
  2. The bill offers a zero-sum approach that pits one group of immigrants against others to fight over a broken immigration system.
  3. A true solution would protect diversity by expanding the number of green cards available.

We agree that the substantial backlog of visa applicants is unfortunate and needs to be addressed. But H.R. 1044/S. 386 is not a fair solution and risks further problems, such as creating what the State Department has referred to as a “monopoly” of the green card process for one group of nationals and eliminate any diversity from the process. We urge Senators to object to the bill moving forward by unanimous consent and reject what would be a counterproductive attempt at fixing a long-standing, complex problem.

Sincerely,

18 Million Rising
Adhikaar
Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice
All of Us
Arab American Institute
Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA)
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Council on American-Islamic Relations
Emgage Action
Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC)
Italian American Democratic Leadership Council
Justice for Muslims Collective
MPower Change
National Iranian American Council Action
National Korean American Service and Education Consortium (NAKASEC)
OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates
Pakistani American Political Action Committee (PAKPAC Membership)
Project South
South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)
UndocuBlack Network
United Chinese Americans
United Macedonian Diaspora
United We Dream

 

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