Speed Reads

limbo

'It's a psychological nightmare:' Indian immigrants in green card limbo watch as thousands of U.S. visas expire

More than 80,000 greens cards are set to expire by Sept. 30, much to the disappointment and disillusionment of almost 1 millions Indians in the U.S. "stuck in a precarious legal status despite decades in the country," writes the San Francisco Chronicle.

They had been hoping an influx of extra 120,000 visas alloted for employment-based applicants in the fiscal year 2020 would cut into a backlog "filled mostly with Indian nationals," writes the Chronicle. Sadly, some-80,000 unused opportunities will soon essentially "evaporate."

"It's a psychological nightmare for the people waiting in line," said Charles Kuck, an immigration attorney representing dozens of immigrants in a lawsuit against the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services over the delays. "It's like walking up to a kiosk and the guy in front of you gets his doughnut and coffee and you get up to the kiosk and they pull the shade down and wheel the cart away."

Even with "deep roots" in the U.S., Indians with temporary visas remain hindered by a "little-known" part of U.S. immigration law that limits the number of green cards issued to immigrants from any one country each year. The "country-cap rule" has affected primarily Indian and Chinese immigrants in the U.S., as "they are by far the biggest groups arriving as high-skilled foreign workers," writes the Chronicle.

USCIS said it is working as hard as it can to process all applicants, but its unique structure leaves the agency understaffed and underfunded.

"You're literally living in a limbo," said Kuck. "The fact that you have a work permit and travel authorization — whoop-de-do. That's not why you filed a green card." Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle