On July 10, 2019, in a rare showing of bipartisan unity, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1044, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 by a 365 to 65 majority vote.
Current immigration law imposes not only numerical limits on most categories of employment-based immigrant visas issued annually, but also per-country limits. These have resulted in wait lists for green cards for high-skilled immigrants from certain countries, such as India or China, that can exceed a decade, harming U.S. businesses in the global competition for talent. H.R. 1044 would phase in changes leading to elimination of the per country limits by FY 2023.
Maine’s Representatives Chellie Pingree and Jared Golden both joined the majority to vote in favor of this common sense bill. A companion bill of the same name in the Senate, S. 386, currently has 36 cosponsors from both sides of the aisle, including Maine’s Senator Susan Collins.
Maine’s business community should encourage our senators to work for swift passage of this bill in the Senate. With its bipartisan support and the benefits it would have for U.S. businesses and the economy, there’s no reason to wait.