In a setback to President Donald Trump, the US House of Representatives today defeated a bill which had proposed a merit-based immigration system and elimination of country quotas in Green Card allotment that would have helped legal migration of professionals from countries like India.
The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act, also known as the Goodlatte Bill because of it being introduced by Republican Congressman Bob Goodlatte from Virginia, was defeated by a large margin of 121 “yes” votes to 301 “no” votes in the Republican-majority House of Representatives.
“Once again, Republican leaders put a partisan immigration bill on the floor, and it failed overwhelmingly,” House Democratic Whip Steny H Hoyer said.
Hours before the voting, President Trump had asked lawmakers to vote for the bill which among other things would end the agonising Green Card wait for Indian-Americans and promote immigration that would enable a much faster process for legal migration of qualified professionals from countries like India.
“House republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill, known as Goodlatte ii, in their afternoon vote today, even though they won’t let it pass in the senate. Passage will show that we want strong borders & security while they want open borders = crime. win!” Trump said in an unusual all caps
Todd Schulte, president of FWD.Us which is backed by top IT companies, said the vote makes it absolutely clear – once again – that the only path forward to protecting ‘Dreamers’ is a bipartisan process that leads to votes on bipartisan legislation.
“We opposed this bill today. While it contained some good elements, it came with harmful cuts to legal immigration levels and allowed the indefinite detention of children and families – and we opposed it because it abandoned a bipartisan process that is absolutely required to get legislation signed into law,”
The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2018 (HR 6136) establishes a new, merit-based green card programme – without increasing legal immigration – based on applicants earning points for skills, education, vocational training, work experience, English language proficiency, and military service, according to Goodlatte.
More points are awarded for each achievement. Once applicants meet the threshold number of points for eligibility, they will qualify for a Green Card, although those with the highest points each year will earn their green cards more quickly.
Those eligible for this include children of E1, E2, H1B, and L workers who were brought by their parents lawfully into the US as minors and have been continuously in the
US for 10 years before the date of enactment and any individual granted a “contingent non-immigrant status” due to DACA eligibility may apply.