WASHINGTON: The Democratic Party in the US will end the freeze on green cards and take steps to end its backlog, if voted to power in the November presidential elections, the party’s proposed 2020 platform said.
Green Card, known officially as a Permanent Resident Card, is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently
The proposed platform among other things has expressed opposition to the decision of President Donald Trump to temporarily suspend issuing of H-1B visas.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
The 2020 Democratic Party Platform, which is similar to an election manifesto in India, would be adopted by the party’s delegates during its national convention in Wisconsin. The four-day convention from August 17 to 20 would formally nominate former Vice President Joe Biden as its candidate for the November 3 presidential elections.
“We support awarding visas for permanent, employment-based immigration in a way that is responsive to labour market needs. We want to attract and keep talent in this country, which is why Democrats will end the Trump administration’s freeze on green cards for new immigrants and instead pursue a meaningful reform agenda,” said the proposed platform.
Running into 90 pages, the platform was considered by the 2020 Platform Committee at its meeting on July 27.
A 21st century immigration system that honours American values is an essential prerequisite not just to recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, but to strengthening its democracy and guaranteeing America’s long-term economic competitiveness, it said.
“That’s why Democrats believe in improving and increasing opportunities for legal, permanent immigration. Our family, humanitarian, and diversity pathways have contributed immeasurably to the vibrancy and productivity of American society and should continue to be the centerpiece of our immigration system,” the proposed platform said.
“Democrats oppose President Trump’s illegal chaotic, and reckless changes to the legal immigration system, including decisions to slash family-based immigration as well as H-1B and other visa programmes that can help our economy,” it said.
A Biden administration, the platform said will eliminate unfair barriers to naturalization, reduce application backlogs, and make US immigration processes faster, more efficient, and less costly.
“These reforms will strengthen our communities, our families, our economy, and our country,” it said.
According to the platform, the Democrats believe family unity should be a guiding principle for its immigration policy. As such it will prioritise family reunification for children still separated from their families, and will restore family reunification programmes ended by the Trump administration, it stated.
“We support legislation to treat the spouses and children of green card holders as immediate relatives and end their unfair separation. We will eliminate family-based green card backlogs and reform the system to speed up family-based visas,” the platform said.
“And we will work with Congress to eliminate immigration barriers, such as the three- and 10-year bars, and remove the 10-year waiting period for waivers to the permanent bars that keep loved ones apart,” it said.
Asserting that the Democrats will rescind President Donald Trump’s the ‘Emergency,” the platform said.
It said that they will immediately terminate the “discriminatory travel and immigration bans that disproportionately” impact Muslim, Arab, and African people, and invite those whose visas have been denied under these “xenophobic and un-American policies to re-apply to come to the United States”.
“We will support legislation to ensure that no president can enact discriminatory bans ever again,” it said.