Ramesh Punja from myStatesman has written a heart touching story of Indian parents and their daughter Himani who had to bear the brunt of an archaic immigration law. Himani’s parents like any other migrated to the USA to offer better life opportunities for their daughter. Little did they know at the time of applying permanent residency along with their daughter that 20 years into the future Himani will have to part ways from them and the land she knew as her home. Himani’s parents and she waited for green card for 20 years to only realize they have to wait for more time. By this time Himani was 21 years old and was no longer dependent. Not being able to find a legal pathway to remain in the US she was forced to leave the land she fondly cherished as her home.
The article covers the pain and agony of a parent who is left helpless and forced to watch their daughter cope with problem that she was not responsible for in the first place. The article clearly illustrates the long processing times of green card for Indians is taxing on the entire family and to everyone waiting for their green cards.
Children of undocumented immigrants face the same issue as Himani and her likes who are children of legal immigrants. While the children of undocumented immigrants have received some relent via DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program there is no mechanism to render the same for children of legal immigrant parents. We firmly believe there should be no distinction in addressing this issue between undocumented and legal immigrants. After all children are the future of the nation be it children of legal or undocumented immigrants. Sadly, in Himani’s case there was no law to help her and today she lives halfway across the globe from her parents in India.
This article brings to fore one such instance but there are several families facing similar issues. There are families today waiting for their green cards to be processed in time so their children do not meet Himani’s fate. The article discusses about Himani who was not born in the USA to be a US citizen that would have avoided the problems she is facing. The parents with US born kids are vulnerable to a similar issue if parents lose their legal status while waiting for their green card for 25+ years.
The root cause of the issue lies in the fact that there is acute shortage of green cards allocated to India. The shortage of allocation is because current immigration law caps the allotment of employment based green cards at meager 7% per country with no regards to number of applicants from the specific country. Employers hire these employees on skills and file for permanent residency/green cards to keep them permanently within the United States because they value the skills the employees bring to their organization. But, the employees end up getting stuck in green card backlogs because once their immigrant petitions are approved they are discriminated based on their country of origin and put in a country-based queue to adjust to a permanent resident status.
We are working on a multi-pronged approach to bring awareness about the issue, working with lawmakers in Washington DC, and offering people a platform to be a part of solution to their green card backlog problem. Please go through the article and if you decide to be a part of the change, join us. See the Contact Us section.