Biden vs Trump: Who Indians Trust for Green Card (and H1B)

Poll shows H1B workers have no faith on Biden or Trump to solve their Green card backlog problem. Historically, neither Democrats nor Republicans have helped.

Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team    Updated 24 Jul, 20

Its that time of the year when the debate about Biden vs Trump is heating up in the Indian community.

We share our opinion after talking to Indians who have been patiently waiting in decade long queues and the Twitter poll run by Anil Gupta.

Our Opinion

A good number of Indians usually vote for Republicans as per our opinion and the ones who cannot vote, hope that Democrats win.

This is a continuous tussle an Indian goes through due to the complex US green card and visa system.

  • A high skilled immigrant worker hopes to make life and wait patiently in the green card queue.
  • His favorites are Democrats as they usually are heard talking about immigrants in news and on TV.

But, politics is all about votes. Democrats know that you, an Indian will only hope that Democrats win, but will vote for Republicans as soon as you become a citizen.

Why do Democrats always talk about dreamers and their rights? Why don’t they push legal workers plight and make laws for it with the same energy as they do for DACA?

Simple. They make a big part of the population that will vote for them after becoming the citizen too.

The general consensus in backlogged employment-based Green card queue countries is that neither Democrats nor Republicans care for them.

As per the twitter poll run by Anil Gupta recently, most people think that it is better to have a Democrat president than a Republican given the strict choice between Biden and Trump.

Democrats can at least let the current status quo go-on as-it-is without adding additional hurdles.

But, the consensus quickly shifts if we add the third option of “none of the above“. Now, more than 60% believe that none of them will actually work to remove the underlying issue of country-based limits on Green card.

What this essentially tells us is:

  • Democrats try to please family-based immigrants and care for the undocumented population more. They won’t hurt legal immigrants but they won’t do anything out of the way to help them either.
  • Republicans do favor legal immigration but they also do not do anything to shorten Indian’s everlasting painful green card journey.

Take the example of Democratic party Senator Dick Durbin who has blocked S386 in Senate even when HR 1044 was passed with bipartisan support in the house with Democrat majority.

Republican Senator Mike Lee has pushed S386 a lot but not enough to pass it yet.

Republican vs Democrats

See the snapshot of senator Lee (Republican) vs Durbin (Democrat) for S386 bill in Senate on July 22:

S386 - Lee Durbin debate - July 22
S386 – Lee Durbin debate – July 22

Biden Promises

You might have seen headlines in Indian news sites saying that Biden will revoke the H1B visa ban as soon as he is elected as President.

That’s certainly possible as H1B, L1 and J1 travel ban is just a temporary suspension and not a permanent change. There is nothing extra that he is trying to do there.

The suspension will anyway be lifted sooner or later automatically or by a litigation.

Joe Biden's green card for-employment based backlogs
Joe Biden’s green card for-employment based backlogs

If you read his immigration promises on his official election page and hear election speech on TV, you will find that removing country of birth based limits is mentioned as a small line here and there.

Everything he talks about is undocumented immigrants, their kids (DACA dreamers), and their rights.

In addition, his immigration reform idea is taking care of family-based immigration with carefully written lines like:

  • Biden will work with Congress to first reform temporary visas to establish a wage-based allocation process and establish enforcement mechanisms to ensure they are aligned with the labor market and not used to undermine wages. Then, Biden will support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs.  – Only a small line means it has been added as a formality. (Source: Joe Biden Election Site)
  • “On day one, I”m going to send the legislative immigration reform bill to Congress to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who contribute so much to this country, including 1.7 million from the AAPI community.” (source: NDTV)
  • “My immigration policy is built around keeping families together, modernizing an immigration system by keeping families, unification, and diversity as pillars of our immigration system, which it used to be” (source: NDTV)
  • Biden will aggressively advocate for legislation that creates a clear roadmap to legal status and citizenship for unauthorized immigrants who register, are up-to-date on their taxes, and have passed a background check. (Source: Joe Biden Election Site)

If you look just two steps ahead, you will realize that it is a careful attempt to gather Indian and Chinese votes who have already got citizenship.

The problem with the Asian mindset (most of them) is that they want the green card door to be closed as soon as they have got the green card themselves. No one knows this fact better than the election campaign teams.

After all, their sole aim is to get the votes and they know who can give it to them.

Trump Promises

Trump does not have any specific agenda that he has shared publicly yet apart from the immigration overhaul by bringing the merit based system.

His election campaign has created a separate site for attracting Asian votes but shows no explicit promises of how he will help them.

Trump for Asians
Trump for Asians

With double-digit lead over Trump (Politico, PewResearch), Biden sure if making heads turn. But, if you look at it from the point of view of the high skilled working community and their path to green cards, we believe that Trump is better than Biden.

Trump’s idea of a merit-based Green card system does make sense. Both Canada and Australia use this system to give you permanent residency without looking at your country of birth.

The current trend shows that both countries are extremely popular with Asian immigrants due to the value they put on skills instead of family ties.

As per our opinion, if anyone can, then it might only be Trump who can bring the sweeping change to the US Immigration system given his record of signing executive orders that no other president could have even thought of seeing.

Reality Check

At the time of Obama as president, Democrats had a majority in both the house and the Senate from 2009 to 2011 but still did not go-ahead to get the “country of birth based limits” removed.

If they wanted to, they could have, but they didn’t. Can you guess the reasons?

The same law is still pending today in 2020 in the form of S386 and senators are playing a Squash game with it.

Each year, the Indian EB2 and EB3 add 3 years to the final waiting time for a person who files his new PERM and i140 today as per our estimate.

They do not care about the H1B’s or L1s as they are anyway handicapped. Their employers are obviously happy that they get employees with little or no negotiation powers and that too with decades of forced commitment to the company.


Written by AM22Tech Team
  AM22Tech Team     

Recent discussion on forum

  1. anonymous

    Anil appreciate your efforts on voicing the Green Card backlog and S386 bill.

    This is my take. It really doesn’t matter which president is elected to resolve the GC backlog issue . GC backlog is not a vested interest for the IT companies or the AILA.

    It really doesn’t add any gain for them hence this is s niche issue . From what I have heard is that these organizations are lobbying against it. Coming to the bill, it is championed by the Republicans under Mike Lee, and currently it is Democrat Dick Durbin who is standing as a blocker since Dec 2019.

    The Obama administration didn’t address the GC backlog rather introduced H4Ead which adds burden to the already backlogged immigration system.

    My personal opinion is that whoever comes to power unless the Senate works towards passing the bill by agreements and discussion the presidency doesn’t matter. IMHO

  2. anonymous57

    As a counterpoint … the Obama administration was unable to do anything unilaterally, they needed the cooperation of the Republicans.

    There were immigration bills on the table (the gang of 8 bill comes to mind) which went nowhere. Personally I can’t see how H4EAD would be a burden, the processing is supported by the application fees …

    With influential policy advisors like Stephen Miller, who is a white nationalist and anti-immigration, I don’t think the Trump administration is capable of coming up with any form of decent immigration reform.

    the first two years of the Obama administration were spend cleaning up the mess of the great financial crisis from what I recall. I don’t think details like removing per country caps were the priority at that point (plus it’s generally good to have bipartisan reform because it’s longer lasting)

  3. anonymous49

    Ok, so how many years do you think would it take to clear up the employment and financial mess that 2020 is creating ?

    Just as you said above, I don’t think any president would have this as a priority anymore and neither Senate for the very same reason as 2008.

  4. anonymous

    Great article. It reflects plain reality and nothing else.

  5. anonymous39

    From US govt point of view - Govt has to invest Hugh revenue for each GC holder in case of any uncertainty …

    So it’s highly unfavourable at this point of time either from Republicans or Democrats…
    Will have to watch after Covid and Elections …

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