The clock is running out on more than 100,000 employment-based green cards that the Biden administration could — but likely won't — issue before the end of the fiscal year.
The green cards, or permanent residency permits, are available for the administration to dole out to eligible immigrants but will expire on Sept. 30.
President Biden's pro-immigrant rhetoric has contrasted with former President Trump's restrictionist stance. But thus far, the administration has shown no signs that it will expend political capital to assign the expiring green cards, frustrating immigration advocates.
"It's a question of willingness. Are you going to be willing to take the risk on someone trying to stop you in court or not? And obviously they're not willing to risk litigation on behalf of this population," said David Bier, an immigration researcher at the Cato Institute.
Nearly 90 percent of the immigrants who would be eligible for the expiring tranche of green cards are Indian nationals currently on temporary work visas. They face decades-long wait times to receive permanent residency.
Those wait times are essentially baked into the immigration system, as country caps established in statute have combined with high demand for green cards from Indian nationals, many of whom are already in the United States under work visas such as the H-1B.
Advocates are growing increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of adjudication and want United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) — the agency that grants visas, permanent residency permits and naturalizations — to fast-track applications, making use of green cards that were left unclaimed because of the pandemic and Trump administration policies.
"There's two reasons there's far more green cards available this year for employment-based immigrants than in prior years, because so few family-based green cards were used last year, and any unused family-based green cards get added to the employment-based limit for the following year," said Bier.
"The second reason is that the government did almost nothing to increase the speed of adjudications in order to meet the increased demand," he added.
More on this article can be found here: https://thehill.com/latino/569794-advocates-frustrated-with-administration-as-green-cards-poised-to-expire?rl=1