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AILA Doc. No. 19080632 | Dated June 3, 2021
AILA has been a long time, ardent supporter of the elimination of the per-country limitations for employment-based immigrants because individuals should become permanent residents based on the skills they bring to the United States and not their nationality. We believe that Congress must take action to provide fair redress to individuals who have been stuck in the immigrant visa backlog for decades, without adversely impacting others.
The EAGLE Act (H.R. 3648) does not strike the right balance of eliminating per-country limitations without adversely impacting others. Therefore, AILA does not support its passage and urges Congress to find an equitable solution for all individuals waiting for lawful permanent residence.
AILA will continue to champion, both legislatively and administratively, the principles outlined in the RELIEF Act (H.R. 5327: Resolving Extended Limbo for Immigrant Employers and Families Act) to ensure equitable and fair redress to individuals and their families while waiting for an immigrant visa to become available. These principles outline steps to bring real reform to our immigrant visa system, including exempting spouses and minor children of primary applicants from the immigrant visa quotas, enabling individuals to get the benefits of filing adjustment of status applications earlier, increasing the number of green cards over the next five years, protecting minor children from aging out, and eliminating the per country caps.
On June 1, 2021, Representatives Lofgren (D-CA) and Curtis (R-UT) introduced the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2021 (H.R. 3648). This bill is modeled after the version of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (S. 386) that passed the Senate in December 2020.
This bill would:
This bill does not include Sections 8 and 9 of S. 386, which sought to place a cap on AOS filings from H-1B or H-4 status and prohibited AOS for certain Chinese nationals.
If enacted, the bill would become effective on the first day of the second fiscal year after the date of enactment.
AILA will continue to monitor any legislative activity related to these issues and provide updates on this page.
On February 7, 2019, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 was introduced in the House and Senate (H.R. 1044 / S. 386). This bill would have eliminated the per-country numerical limitation for all employment-based immigrants, and increase the per-country limitation for all family-sponsored immigrants from seven percent to 15 percent. On July 10, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044) by a vote of 365 to 65. A modified version of H.R. 1044 (S. 386) was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate on December 2, 2020. AILA is providing the below summary of the major provisions in the two different versions of the bill. Because the differences in these bills were not reconciled by the House and Senate prior to the end of the 116th Session of Congress, this legislation failed. Provisions of this legislation were reintroduced in the EAGLE Act on June 1, 2021.
While many of the below resources refer to the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019, they remain relevant and informative to the current legislation, as the EAGLE Act of 2021 has retained many provisions of the prior legislation.
Cite as AILA Doc. No. 19080632.
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