Eagle Act // Path to citizenship – Employment-Based Green Cards

Updated September 19, 2021, The Senate refuses to include a path to green cards in the reconciliation bill.The Senate parliamentarian disagrees with the Democrats, claiming that the proposal’s “policy changes far outweigh the budgetary impact.”

Updated September 10,2021, The text of the House Judiciary bill relating to the Path to Citizenship is now available which includes key reforms for employment-based Visas. Read here for details.

Updated August 24, 2021, House Democrats on August 24th 2021 adopted a budget resolution & actual bill is being drafted. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi, Kathy Manning, and Deborah K. Ross wrote a letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Schumer requesting to address the employment-based green card backlog as part of budget reconciliation for the relief of approximately 1.2 million individuals languishing in the green card backlog.

Updated June 7, 2021, S386 Bill, The Fairness for High Skilled Immigrants Act passed in the Senate on Dec 2, 2020. The amended version of the bill passed the Senate unanimously however there wasn’t enough time in the legislative session in the Congress to reconcile the differences with the House.

HR1044/S-386 was failed in the House last year during Trump administration mainly because of the Anti-Chinese Provision added to Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act by Sen. Scott from Florida ““Bar adjustment of status to all Chinese “affiliated” with the Chinese Communist Party” in the senate amended version.

The same bipartisan bill, known as the EAGLE (Equal Access to Greencards for Legal Employment) Act, was introduced today by California Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Republican Congressman John Curtis. #HR3648

Here are the highlights of the EAGLE Act:-

  • Removes the per-country cap on employment-based Green Cards in a phased manner.
  • For the first 9 years following the bill’s enactment, employment-based immigrants will be able to file for Adjustment of Status if they have Perm and (2) years have passed since the approval of their I-140 immigrant petition.
  • Prevent children of immigrants from ageing out, H4 dependents will be able to work.
  • Raises the 7% per-country limit on family-sponsored visas to 15%.

Strengthens the H–1B Program:-

  • The Department of Labor will be required to set up a job posting website within 180 days. Furthermore, prior to applying for H-1B visas, the positions will be posted on a searchable website managed by the Department of Labor.
  • Requirements for investigations and dispositions of complaints against employers who hire on H-1B visas.
  • Department of Labor must approve Labor Condition Applications certification for wage determination as a prerequisite for filing any H-1B petition.

Chances & What’s next:

Over the years, the bill has been introduced under various names. In August 2008, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren and Congressman Bob Goodlatte introduced legislation to remove per-country limits from the employment-based Green Card system. This popular provision was included in a number of bills introduced and/or passed in both the House and Senate but did not become law. Again, the Eagle Act must be passed by the House and Senate before being signed by the President.

Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and others have tweeted in support of the EAGLE Act. The Green Card Backlog Forum is hopeful that Congress will act this time.

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