The President's Advisory Commission of the United States has suggested that President Joe Biden should process all green cards and permanent residency applications within six months.
If the President's Advisory Commission on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (PACAANHPI) recommendations are implemented, it will be a joyful occasion for lakhs of Indian-Americans, including some who have been waiting for a Green Card for decades.
During the PACAANHPI conference, eminent Indian-American community leader Ajay Jain Bhutoria made a suggestion in this regard, which was overwhelmingly supported by all 25 commissioners.
The advisory committee advised US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reassess their processes, systems, and rules to reduce the pending green card backlog.
It also suggested reducing procedures, removing any extraneous steps, automating manual approvals, strengthening internal dashboards, and improving rules to achieve new internal cycle time targets.
All paperwork about family-based green card applications, DACA renewals, and other such green card applications should be processed within six months, according to the suggestions.
The commission also suggested that the State Department's National Visa Center (NVC) should hire more officers to boost their capacity to process green card application interviews by 100% in three months starting in August 2022.
Green card applications, visa interviews, and adjudication decisions will be increased by 150% by April 2023, from a capacity of 32,439 in April 2022.
The group suggested that USCIS examine and adjudicate petitions for work permits, travel papers, and temporary status extensions or adjustments within three months to make it simpler for immigrants to stay and work in the US.
According to Mr Bhutoria's policy document, there were 421,358 pending interviews in April, compared to 436,700 in March. The annual immigration levels were set in the early 1990s and have stayed unaltered since then.
Even if those individuals are already qualified to immigrate, the unusual wait period for a green card caused enormous suffering for American families who are forced to wait for years to reunite with their loved ones.
Family separation takes a severe emotional toll and imposes evident, economic, logistical, and emotional hardships. The expanding nature of the backlogs makes the process unclear and future planning unfeasible, Mr Bhutoria said.
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