Immigration Voice: Advocating for the Rights of High-Skilled Immigration Workers
Immigration has been a contentious issue in the United States for decades. Long wait times, complicated processes, and uncertain outcomes are just some of the challenges international workers face when trying to obtain visas or permanent residency. However, a group of highly skilled immigrants began organizing in 2007 to advocate for their rights and bring about change in the U.S. immigration system. This group is known as Immigration Voice (IV).
In this article, we will dive into the history, goals, and achievements of Immigration Voice, as well as explore current updates and challenges for high-skilled immigration workers.
What is Immigration Voice?
Immigration Voice is a non-profit organization that represents high-skilled workers, their families, and employers, who are navigating the U.S. immigration system. The organization was established in 2007 by a group of highly skilled immigrants, who had faced significant hurdles during their own immigration processes, such as long wait times and visa backlogs. The founders of Immigration Voice believed that their stories could help create change in the system and set out to lobby Congress to pursue reforms and policies that benefit high-skilled immigration workers.
Immigration Voice’s goals include:
– Expediting the green card process, specifically for those with advanced degrees and skills from U.S. universities, and those with job offers from U.S. employers.
– Eliminating per-country limits that create massive backlogs, delays, and injustices for high-skilled immigrants.
– Eliminating the H-1B cap, which limits the number of highly skilled immigrants that can be sponsored annually by U.S. employers.
– Providing protection for dependent family members of high-skilled immigration workers, including H-4 visa holders, who are typically not allowed to work or pursue a career in the U.S.
Through grassroots activism, media outreach, and direct lobbying of Congress, Immigration Voice has been instrumental in bringing attention to the challenges that high-skilled immigration workers face and advancing legislative reforms to improve the system.
Immigration Voice’s History of Advocacy
Immigration Voice has a rich history of advocacy efforts, which have resulted in significant legislative changes. Here are some of the key milestones in the organization’s history:
– 2007 – Immigration Voice is founded by high-skilled immigrants, led by Aman Kapoor, Satyam Khanna, and Gaurav Dayal, who start a website to share their stories and connect with others experiencing similar issues.
– 2011 – Immigration Voice launches its first grassroots campaign, called “Break the Gridlock,” which aims to raise awareness of the per-country limits for green cards, which causes significant backlogs for skilled immigrants from countries like India and China. The campaign included protests, social media outreach, and direct lobbying of Congress, which helped to put the spotlight on this issue, and resulted in the inclusion of a provision in the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2011, which aimed to address the per-country limits.
– 2014 – Immigration Voice launches a new campaign, “I Am an American,” which highlights the contributions of skilled immigrants to the U.S. economy and society and calls for reforms that would enable high-skilled immigrants to stay and contribute to the country. The campaign involved media outreach, meetings with lawmakers, and a social media campaign, which generated significant support from the public and the business community. This campaign paved the way for bipartisan support for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that would have provided a pathway to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants and created a merit-based visa program for high-skilled workers. However, the bill ultimately failed to pass Congress.
– 2015 – Immigration Voice launches a campaign, “The American Dream and Promise Act,” which calls for protection for dependent family members of high-skilled immigration workers, who are at risk of losing their status due to changes in immigration policies and regulations. The campaign includes social media advocacy, community engagement, and direct lobbying of Congress, which helped to bring attention to this issue and resulted in the introduction of the American Dream and Promise Act, which aimed to provide a path to citizenship for millions of Dreamers, TPS holders, and DED recipients. The bill passed in the House of Representatives, but did not advance in the Senate.
– 2019 – Immigration Voice launches a campaign, “HR 1044 and S 386,” which calls for the elimination of per-country limits for employment-based green cards. The campaign includes a social media campaign, protests, and direct lobbying of Congress, which helped to build bipartisan support for the bill. The bill passed in the House of Representatives but was blocked in the Senate due to objections from some lawmakers who argued that it would negatively impact U.S. workers.
Current Updates and Challenges
Despite the many successes of Immigration Voice, significant challenges remain for high-skilled immigration workers. Here are some of the current updates and challenges:
– COVID-19 Pandemic – The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant delays and uncertainty for high-skilled immigration workers, who are facing visa processing backlogs and travel restrictions. The pandemic has also led to layoffs and furloughs, which can result in termination of visas and status for workers.
– Executive Orders – The Trump Administration has issued several executive orders and policy changes that have impacted high-skilled immigration workers, including the suspension of some visa categories, changes to the H-1B program, and restrictions on travel to the U.S. Some of these changes have been challenged in court, but the outcomes are uncertain.
– Legislative Reforms – Immigration Voice is continuing to advocate for legislative reforms that would improve the immigration system for high-skilled workers, including the reintroduction of HR 1044 and S 386, which aim to eliminate per-country limits for employment-based green cards.
Immigration Voice has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of high-skilled immigration workers and bringing about legislative reforms to improve the U.S. immigration system. Despite significant challenges, Immigration Voice remains committed to its mission and continues to push for change that would benefit high-skilled workers, their families, and employers. If you are a high-skilled immigration worker, or if you support the mission of Immigration Voice, consider supporting the organization through donations and advocacy efforts. Together, we can create a more just and equitable immigration system that benefits everyone.
What is Immigration Voice?
Immigration Voice is a non-profit organization that’s purpose is to help immigrants and the legislative and executive branches of government interact in order to solve problems in the employment bases green card process due to delays in retrogression, USCIS processing and Labor Certification. Immigration Voice works to improve immigration laws so that high-skilled legal employment based immigrants can enter the Unites States economy easier and quicker.
Contact Immigration Voice For Help
3561 Homestead Road #375
Santa Clara, CA 95051-5161
Telephone: (202) 386-6250
Fax: (202) 403-3853
What are Immigration Voice’s goals?
Immigrations Voice’s main goal is to limit the delays associated with skilled foreign workers obtaining green cards in order to work legally within the United States. Currently the green card system takes between 6 -12 years before a foreign individual may be granted permanent residence within the United States.
A second goal of Immigration Voice is to eliminate “per-country” green cards. Currently the green card applications from India, Mexico, China and the Philippines are backlogged. Green cards from the annual quota are limited to 7% per country. Many of these countries do not meet their annual quota and they do not issue the amount of green cards that they are permitted.
On the other hand, nations, as those mentioned above, meet their quota yearly and still have backlogs. For that reason Immigration Voice is attempting to promote legislation that would alter the laws so that a country such as India could use the excess green cards from another nation to help its citizens get permanent residency in the United States. Immigration Voice maintains that employment based green cards should not be designated by country of origin. They maintain that to limit the employment of individuals from certain nations is a form of employment discrimination and should be stopped.
Immigration Voice should not be considered an organization based upon equality for all. It is an organization whose main purpose is to streamline the immigration process for highly skilled professionals such as doctors and engineers. Part of the mission entails giving those countries with highly skilled workers greater access to green cards than those countries that import mostly unskilled labor.
Currently Immigration Voice has accomplished many goals in order to streamline entrance into the United States for skilled workers. In September 2009
Immigration Voice was essential in getting the screening process for foreign scientists reduced down to 2 weeks and also completed a successful campaign that resulted in the USCIS releasing the data of pending green card applications on their website.
Immigration Voice is also highly involved in the passage of the DREAM Act. The DREAM Act was first proposed in 2001 and has recently been reintroduced in the Senate. The Act would allow permanent residency to illegal alien-students who had arrived in the U.S. as minors, graduated from U.S. high schools and lived in the country for five years prior to the bills enactment. California recently adopted a version of the DREAM Act that would allow illegal alien children living in the United States to be granted private college scholarships to state schools.