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USCIS Requests 34 Million Green Cards & Work Permits

Posted By || Oct 24, 2014

The Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issued a request for up to 34 million green card and work permits in the United States – a number that outweighs the current volume of the same documents currently issued by the federal government. The procurement request could mean good news for millions of hopeful immigrants, but the plan has Republicans concerned over Obama's current immigration reform plan.

In reality, the policy will need fine tuning before implementation. "The fact of the matter is, there are still decisions to be made about what that policy will entail," said press secretary Josh Earnest, "what I would caution you against doing is making assumptions about what will be in those announcements based on the procurement practices of the Department of Homeland Security."

While some parties are concerned by the number of potential work permits and green cards, the reality is that such provisions are designed to limit costs in the event of an unforeseen surge in needed permits.

Additionally, some reports of the USCIS request potentially exaggerated how many people would actually have access to the permits and green cards. In fact, the total number of issued green cards and work permits would not match the number of individuals receiving them. Work permits for high tech jobs, for instance, are issued once a year. Given the USCIS' request for a five year contract, one worker could receive five permits while the policy is active.

The request includes green cards as well, which would provide residency for more workers in high tech jobs and their families in the United States.

Earlier this month during a town hall in Los Angeles with members of the technology industry, President Obama stated that the plan is not only manageable, but plausible. He said, "I will use all the executive authority that I legally have in order to make fixes in some of the system, and that includes potentially making the H1B system that is often used by tech companies and some of the other elements of our legal immigration system more efficient." The plan, said President Obama, is to encourage workers in high tech industries to stay in the country.

Categories: Immigration
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