INTERNATIONAL

Meet the Indian-American waging a war on United State’s discriminatory country cap on immigration

Anuj Christian, a seasoned DevOps engineer residing in the United States for over 14 years, is on a mission to challenge the discriminatory country cap on employment-based immigration, particularly impacting Indian foreign workers. In a recent interview to hindustantimes.com, Anuj shared his insights and experiences, shedding light on the challenges faced by individuals like him. To campaign for the cause he has visited 45 states across the country to promote his views and garner support.

Anuj Christian (centre) has travelled to 45 states across United States to spread the message against country cap on immigration application

“I have been to 45 states at the time of writing this. I got chance to speak to many Americans about the issue and I have yet to run into someone who is in favor of country cap after hearing how unfair they are.”

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Based on rules defined by United States, country cap on legal permanent residency punishes immigrants from India and the wait for the coveted Green Card for Indians runs into 200 years. Many have termed it “discrimination” as “inconsistent” with the principles of a merit-based immigration system.

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.

Country Cap challenges: Hurdles faced by foreign workers

Discussing the hurdles foreign workers encounter, Anuj highlighted the difficulties faced by people on work visa, regardless of nationality, stating, “They can’t change jobs easily, don’t qualify for many jobs, and if they lose a job, they only have 60 days to find another job willing to transfer their work visa, or they must leave the country.”

“Work visa typically needs to be renewed every 3 years. If your visa is expired, then you can’t travel outside the country and come back without renewing your work visa first. Work visa can be renewed only at consulates abroad and it’s not always easy to get visa appointments. Many workers miss important family events because it’s not possible to renew work visa without much advance planning.”

However, for Indian workers, the challenges are more profound. Anuj elaborated, “Now all the above challenges are temporary if you are a worker from any country other than India, but they are permanent if you are a worker born in India.”

Country Cap on employment-based immigrationn employment-based immigration

Explaining the root of discrimination, Anuj delved into the history, noting, “This country cap on employment-based immigration was put in place back in 1990. Back then lawmakers didn’t put much thought into it that the skills the US might have a shortage of can come from very few selected countries.”

Anuj emphasized the unintentional exploitation of Indian talent, stating, “So, the discrimination against Indian probably wasn’t intentional, but intentionally or unintentionally they have found a system which benefits many people, even though it’s pure exploitation of Indian talent.”

Describing his nationwide campaign, Anuj stated, “The reason I took on this campaign is because I realized the majority of Americans who can vote are completely unaware of this discrimination, how it’s impacting them and how it’s holding America back.”

Emphasizing on the need to remove country cap, Anuj stated, “Removing country cap means US will be able to hire the best of the best workers regardless of where they come from. Just like there is no country cap on number of gold medals a country can win. We can’t say that’s in favor of United States because United States wins most gold medals. The reason why United States wins most gold medals is because they have environment where athletes can thrive.”

Looking ahead, Anuj expressed optimism, stating, “Good thing is bills which will end this discrimination based on where you are born are already introduced in the house and senate. I’m very hopeful they will reach the finish line if people in backlog become active in advocacy.”

Anuj underscored the immense contribution of Indian workers to the U.S. economy, stating, “There isn’t much I need to say on Indian workers’ contributions to the US economy. Most number of foreign-born Fortune 500 CEOs are from India. Removing country cap on skill-based visa is not a policy in favor of India. It’s a policy in favor of the United States.”

Anuj Christian’s journey continues as he strives to break boundaries and create a more inclusive and equitable immigration system in the United States. “So many people know about this discrimination now because of this campaign and I am hoping many more will come to know by the time I am done with all 50.

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