Rep. Stevens Cosponsors Bill to Eliminate Per-Country Limits on Employment-Based Visas

February 22, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11) cosponsored H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, a bipartisan bill to remove the arbitrary per-country limits in the employment-based green card system.

Of the 140,000 employment-based green cards that the U.S. makes available each year to high-skilled immigrants, only seven percent can go to immigrants from any one country. This arbitrary cap disproportionally impacts countries with larger populations that meet their caps much faster than countries with small populations, and results in significant wait times – up to 70 years in some cases. To ensure true fairness, high-skilled visas should be given to those based on a first-come-first-serve and merit based system, regardless of their country of origin. Addressing this long-overdue solution will have dramatically positive impacts on our innovation sectors in Southeast Michigan and America’s competitiveness in the global economy.

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act has 150 bipartisan cosponsors in the House of Representatives.

“At a town hall meeting this week I met a group of concerned constituents who have lived in this country for decades, but have been unable to put their high-skilled education to use in our local economy because of the backlog of high-skilled immigrants from countries with large populations,” said Congresswoman Haley Stevens. “One man, an immigrant from India, was told that he would have to wait 70 years for a visa. This keeps his talent out of our economy, hurts employers, and hampers our ability to innovate. Without a doubt, our immigration system is broken, and bipartisan reforms like the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act are an important step toward strengthening our economy and creating a more functional system that works for everyone. We need a path to citizenship for those playing by the rules and paying their taxes.”

Legislative text of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act can be found HERE.