Only 3% Applicants to Get Green Card in 2024: Study Reveals Faults in US Immigration Laws

A recent white paper from the Cato Institute has shed light on the challenges posed by the green card backlog in the United States, calling for a comprehensive overhaul of the existing immigration process. The study reveals that only 3% of applicants are expected to secure permanent residence in the fiscal year 2024. With a colossal backlog of approximately 34.7 million applications, these findings underscore the magnitude of the issue.

Employment‐Based Green Cards: 1.8 Million (8% Success Rate in 2024)

The white paper explores how caps on the number and types of immigrants eligible to apply have resulted in a significant accumulation of pending requests. One key aspect highlighted in the study is the Employment-Based Green Cards, where only 8% or 1.8 million applicants are projected to be successful in their citizenship efforts in 2024. Despite a temporary increase in the employment-based cap, demand consistently surpasses the available supply, causing prolonged waits, especially for Indian applicants in employer-sponsored categories, who face delays of more than a century for a green card.

Proposed Solutions for Green Card Backlogs

To address these green card backlogs, the white paper proposes key measures. Firstly, Congress is urged to waive stringent rules and arbitrary caps hindering the approval of green card applicants. The paper suggests that addressing the existing backlog requires a gradual increase in annual legal immigration and a more proportional allocation of green cards to different categories.

The family-sponsored backlog, with approximately seven million pending cases dating back to caps set in 1990, is highlighted as a significant challenge. The white paper recommends a proportional increase in caps, potentially resulting in the issuance of six million additional green cards, addressing 85% of the family-sponsored backlog.

Projected Reforms and Concerns of the Indian Diaspora

The white paper proposes granting green cards to the 35 million applicants in 2024 and subsequently implementing a permanent increase in legal immigration to 5 million annually. This reform is projected to result in a moderate increase in the US immigrant population, reaching around 40 million by 2033, representing a 22% share.

The revelation has sparked concerns among the Indian diaspora, emphasizing the need for urgent reforms to streamline the immigration process. Many Indian immigrants, significant contributors to the U.S. economy and society, find themselves entangled in a system struggling to cope with the demand for permanent residency.

Urgency for Comprehensive Immigration Reforms

The findings of the white paper underscore the critical need for comprehensive immigration reforms in the United States. The impact on Indian immigrants, in particular, reflects the broader challenges faced by individuals navigating the intricate and lengthy green card application process. As the debate on immigration reform continues, stakeholders and policymakers are urged to consider the human and economic implications of the current backlog, seeking solutions for a more efficient and inclusive immigration system.

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Priya Gupal
Priya Gupal
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4 Comments

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