Bipartisan Immigration Bill Easing Green Card Access for Legal Immigrants Dies Without a Vote

H.R. 3648, or The Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022, has died at the end of the 2022 congressional session without ever going to a vote. The EAGLE Act was a rare bipartisan immigration bill that was on track for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives this year but ultimately was postponed at the end of the congressional session. It appears that Congress continues to be unable to resolve even the smallest of issues concerning immigration, even those said to have broad bipartisan support.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and John Curtis (R-Utah) originally introduced H.R. 3648, which would phase out per-country caps for employment-based green cards and lift annual caps on family-based green cards. The legislation aims to streamline the green card process and meet employer demand for skilled workers in the U.S.

Unprecedented backlogs are due at least in part to the per-country caps on green cards. The employment-based caps disproportionately affect Indian and Chinese nationals, who often must wait decades to become eligible for green cards. Still, experts disagree on whether lifting the per-country caps is the best solution to solving the staggering immigration application backlogs.

The Senate passed a similar bill by unanimous consent in 2020, but lawmakers could not reconcile it with the House version before the congressional session ended. As a result, the same version of the bill was also introduced in the Senate and House in 2021. Ultimately, H.R. 3648 met the same fate as lawmakers struggled to pass the massive Consolidated Appropriations Act before the end of the year.

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