Law Could Sow Discord Among U.S. Immigrants

The proposed Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, while aiming
to diminish some of the backlog in the system which gives immigrants
permanent American green cards, may cause rifts within the U.S. immigrant population.
The bill's critics have argued it may be promoting unfair employment
options to non-permanent residents while U.S. citizens continue to look
for work in the recession, according to the Washington Post. The act has
also been attacked for favoring those from workers
originally residing in larger countries, such as India, over those
hailing from smaller ones, like the Philippines.
Current laws only allow 140,000 green cards annually for those
holding temporary work permits, and impose per-country quotas, which has
greatly lengthened wait times for countries with large emigrating
populations, like India.
Immigrants from smaller countries, however, believe that the new bill
is unfair. The Post quoted an electrical engineer from Bangladesh who
posted to an online message forum about the issue. The engineer wrote,
“If this bill is passed, then thousands of people from India will get to
cut in line in front of me and add three to four more years to my
already ridiculous wait time."
For some immigrants from India, however, many of whom already hold
temporary teaching, government, and technology-related positions, wait
times can stretch to more than 40 years, literally half a lifetime.
Southern Methodist University professor Caroline Brettell believes that one of the greatest travesties of services
are those immigrants who have spent nearly their whole lives in this
country, but remain unable to attain higher education or permanent
"Why shouldn't smart immigrants, who might have come to the United
States at six months, be able to go on to higher education? It would be
economically productive and morally right," Brettell said during the
Centennial Academic Symposium in Dallas, according to the SMU Daily