Sens. Lee and Harris Introduce Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act

February 7, 2019

WASHINGTON – Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act Wednesday, a bill that would remove per-country caps for employment-based green cards.

“Immigrants should not be penalized due to their country of origin,” Sen. Lee said. “Treating people fairly and equally is part of our founding creed and the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act reflects that belief. Immigration is often a contentious issue, but we should not delay progress in areas where there is bipartisan consensus just because we have differences in a other areas."

“Ours is a nation of immigrants, and our strength has always come from our diversity and our unity,” Sen. Harris said. “We must do more to eliminate discriminatory backlogs and facilitate family unity so that high-skilled immigrants are not vulnerable to exploitation and can stay in the U.S. and continue to contribute to the economy. I’m proud to join with Senator Lee on this bipartisan legislation to ensure that our country remains vibrant and dynamic.”

The Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act also increases the per-country caps for family-sponsored green cards from 7 percent to 15 percent. Without adding any new green cards, S. 386 creates a “first-come, first-served” system that alleviates the backlogs and allows green cards to be awarded more efficiently.

The bill has broad bipartisan support and is additionally cosponsored by Sens. Roy Blunt (R-MO), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jim Moran (R-KS), Tom Carper (D-DE), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Maria Cantwell D-WA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ).

The bill has also been endorsed by Immigration Voice, Compete America Coalition, the Information Technology Industry Council, Google, Microsoft, The Heritage Foundation, La Raza, and many others.

The full bill text can be found below.

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