Washington, DC, February 19, 2019 --(PR.com
)-- On February 10th, 2019 from 1PM - 4PM, over five hundred passionate demonstrators took to the streets at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave with organized signs and slogans: “End Country Limit: Bring the Best and the Brightest,” “I am DALCA, Don’t leave me behind,” “DALCA kids deserve better,” “Clear Green card Backlog for High Skilled Immigrants,” “We are not displacing American Jobs” and “Will pay $25 B for Border Security,” in reference to their fight to be included in ongoing immigration reform negotiations. They were promoting the RHC’s bi-partisan 5&5 Immigration Reform Policy, supported by Senator Rand Paul, Senator Lindsey Graham, Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Congresspersons Krishnamoorthi, Rodney Davis, Tulsi Gabbard, Roger Marshall and many more.
While Congress continued immigration reform deliberations, the RHC organized its communities and those impacted by current policy; despite interruptions by organized and bigoted anti-immigrant groups, legal immigration supporters came together in unison to have their voices heard. With messages from DALCA kids, they declared that they dread the day they turn 21 when they are forced to self deport due to a 60+ year Green Card Backlog and despite the fact they immigrated to this country legally. Their parents are highly-qualified, backlogged immigrants contributing immensely to the success of the United States of America; GC Reforms finds that Green Card Backlog immigrants on H-1B visas have made contributions of approximately $220 billion to the U.S. GDP and $72 billion in taxes over the past 10 years. They have contributed $50 billion in investments such as stocks and 401(k)plans, and $45 billion into real estate, paying over $25 billion in taxes.
Delivering a powerful hour-long address to immigration reform supporters, Shalabh “Shalli” Kumar stated, “True that you are technically not Americans yet because you don’t have Green cards, but in every sense of the word American, you are one.”
Mr. Kumar is a US Industrialist and founder of global enterprise AVG group of companies in Chicago, IL. He is also the Founder of Republican Hindu Coalition currently chaired by his son Vikram Aditya Kumar. He is considered to be amongst the top individual donors to the 2016 Trump election campaign, and is a former informal economic advisor to President Ronald Reagan and the originator of “Abki Baar Trump Sarkar.”
Prior to the RHC’s involvement with immigration reform, there was little discussion of 5&5 Immigration Reform policies, e.g. DALCA and Green Card Backlog issues, outside of India-based publications and markets. Mr. Kumar said, “Your Green cards have been approved by all different departments of our government. Labor department has certified that you are not replacing one single American job.” This statistic is often overlooked as most Americans do not realize that the Labor Certification Process requires US employers to first seek an American workforce to fill particular jobs; if there is an inability to fill and/or lack of qualified candidates only then can the Secretary of Labor issue certification. The RHC is lobbying Congress to address this problem and include 5&5 policies in any fix they intend to bestow upon the DACA.
Goals of the RHC's 5&5 include clearing current green card backlog for high-skilled merit-based immigrants in 1-5 years, current thereafter, and clear DALCA for green cards or include DALCA in DACA program. Additionally, end per country limit for those who want to pay an expedited fee of $2500 per year for ten years per applicant including the dependents. This expedited fee translates to a $2.5 Billion per year for ten years; that’s up to $25 Billion over the next ten years that could be allotted to border security measures. Mr. Kumar was quoted, in regards to President Trumps October 15, 2016 statement on loving Hindus, “The time has come to fulfil that pledge. Broaden the DACA Vs Wall negotiations to include DALCA kids, clear Green Card Backlog and put $25 Billion in the Treasury to pay for the best Border security our country could have.”
Mr. Kumar described in detail as to why the HR 392 Bill introduced in the last Congress with bi-partisan support (now HR 1044 in the 116th Congress), while a step in the right direction, is not enough to solve the problems faced by Green Card backlogged Indians and their DALCA children. Currently, 140,000 new applications from high-skilled Indians in EB2 and EB3 (Employment based) are approved by USCIS for Green Cards and their spouses and young children. Current law allows only 4900 GCs to be issued per year in these two categories, building a huge backlog of more than 1 million applicants. HR 1044 increases the 4900 number to 50,000 by eliminating country caps, but that simply is not enough. This Bill will still take 20 years to clear the current backlog and the line would continue to grow by 90,000 per year. On the other hand, RHC’s 5&5 modelled after Senator Rand Paul’s amendments 1952 and 1965 which increase the GCs issued to Indians (or from any single country) to 297,000 per year clearing the entire backlog in 3 years and keeping it current thereafter. RHC’s 5&5 does this by doubling all the EB categories and not counting immediate dependents in the quota.
In addressing the crowd, Mr. Kumar stressed, "I know President Trump personally, and know that he is not a racist or anti-immigrant. He is a businessman who wants to do good for all Americans regardless of race, religion, color or even political preference." Mr. Kumar, in a show of bi-partisanship went on to thank Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard and Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi in lending their support to immigration reform for high-skilled immigrants from India. He also addressed Senator Kamala Harris in first translating her first name to be the Lotus that is the seat of the Hindu Goddess of knowledge and thanking her for her support of HR 1044. He urged her to become familiar with the issue of DALCA and include DALCA in DACA.
Most recently, as a lead-in to the rally, in addressing Chairman of the Freedom Caucus Congressman Mark Meadows, and Senator Chuck Grassley, Mr. Kumar urged them to take a close look at the 5&5. According to Mr. Kumar, it is a given that the President is willing to give DACA legal status in exchange for Border security. Mr. Kumar went on to state, "Once politicians find out about DALCA kids, they will overwhelmingly support 5&5. Once they find out the truth about Green Card Backlog, they will support 5&5. And why not? It puts $25 Billion, these legal dreamers are willing to pay to expedite their Green Cards, to be used for the much-needed Border security. It is a win-win for all Americans regardless of political party."
If Senator Grassley wants to abolish H1B and replace it with a different temporary work visa program that does not have the provision to be converted to GC, RHC would have no problem with it. The 5&5 Paul amendments would increase the total number of Eb2/Eb3 Green Cards by 238,000.
Finally, Mr. Kumar urged all organizations advocating the cause of Green Card Backlog reduction to unite and speak in one voice. He thanked the head of SIIA Harshit Chatur for support of this Rally.
This was the second major RHC rally on the two issues in Washington in eight months. In June 2018, the organization had hosted a similar rally in front of the Capitol Hill.
Modeled after the highly successful Republican Jewish Coalition, the RHC was founded in 2015 by Shalabh Kumar to serve as a bridge between the Hindu-American community and Republican policymakers and leaders. Hindu Americans in the United States come from many countries, principally India but also include Hindus from Nepal, Sri Lankan, Caribbean, Indonesia, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Australia, Africa and various parts of Europe. Additionally, Hindus include all faiths like Sikhs, Jains, and Buddhists that were born in India. Including Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as its Honorary Chairman, RHC founding members are some of the most successful businessmen in the United States of America.