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Biden scraps Trump-era curb on Green Cards

The US is currently facing a backlog of nearly 473,000 qualified family-based Green Card requests

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday scrapped a proclamation by his predecessor, Donald Trump, that barred many Green Card applicants from entering the US. The step is expected to benefit many Indian professionals working in America with the H-1B visa.

Trump had introduced the ban last year on the ground that it was needed to protect US workers amid high unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic

Indian IT professionals, most of whom are highly skilled and come to the US mainly on the H-1B work visas, are the worst sufferers of the current rules which impose a 7 per cent per country quota on allotment of the coveted Green Card or permanent legal residency.

Biden in his proclamation on Wednesday said that the policy of former President Donald Trump does not advance the interests of the United States.

“To the contrary, it harms the United States, including by preventing certain family members of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents from joining their families here,” he said.

“It also harms industries in the United States that utilise talent from around the world. And it harms individuals who were selected to receive the opportunity to apply for, and those who have likewise received, immigrant visas through the Fiscal Year 2020 Diversity Visa Lottery,” Biden, a Democrat, said.

Biden said that the proclamation issued by his predecessor last spring has prevented these individuals from entering the US, resulting, in some cases, in the delay and possible forfeiture of their opportunity to receive Fiscal Year 2020 diversity visas and to realise their dreams in the country.

However, Biden has not revoked the Trump order issued last June that prohibits some foreign citizens from coming to the US on new temporary work visas, including the H-1B visa for specialty occupations. The Trump proclamation, if not renewed, expires automatically on March 31.

The US is currently facing a backlog of nearly 473,000 qualified family-based Green Card requests.