The House Judiciary Committee recently voted to advance the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment Act of 2021 (the EAGLE Act). Reps. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and John Curtis, R-Utah, introduced the bill in June. The EAGLE Act would modify the Immigration and National Act (INA) to eliminate the per-country visa cap for employment-based visas and raise similar caps on family-based visas. The bill now will advance to the House floor.
The EAGLE Act aims to reduce the historically high immigration case backlogs for individuals waiting for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to process their visa applications. The bill also would more evenly allocate visas among nations based on population. For example, large nations currently have the same visa caps as small nations, which leads to significantly longer wait times for foreign nationals of India and China seeking visas.
The EAGLE Act would also increase the per-country visa caps for family-based visas from 7% to 15%, which would substantially reduce wait times for many individuals. Additionally, the bill would:
The bill sponsors claim that the changes would refocus immigration on what is best for America rather than on the birthplace of immigrants. Under the bill, individuals with better qualifications who could contribute to the American economy but are from larger countries may be able to enter the U.S. more expediently as opposed to lesser-qualified individuals from smaller countries. The bill allows America to focus on the merit of individuals rather than their countries of origin.
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