Thursday, July 19, 2007

Some reports say that some in Congress are considering allowing potentially over 170,000 "extra" green cards to become available for highly skilled workers over the next few years:

The discussions in Congress have begun because of recent revelations about the green-card program. U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) has said that 10,000 of the 140,000 green cards allocated for employment-based applicants were never used last year, in part because the department lacked the resources to process applications. That outraged would-be immigrants and their advocates, because an estimated 500,000 people are waiting for their green cards, and any green cards that go unused contribute to a longer wait.

The discussions now beginning in Congress are over whether the USCIS can go back and allocate green cards that have gone unused in previous years. The total number that are left over from the past 10 years is estimated to be as many as 170,000. If the proposal moves forward, those green cards would likely be used over several years rather than in a single year.
This story asserts that the support of Sen. Durbin (D-IL) could be crucial in getting such a measure passed through Congress; his office has not revealed his position on this policy.