Senators Propose Bill to Scrap Per-Country Visa Caps, Give Priority to Merit-Based Immigration – EAGLE Act 2023


U.S. Senators Kevin Cramer from North Dakota (Republican) and John Hickenlooper from Colorado (Democrat) have recently presented a bill called the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act. This proposed legislation aims to shift the emphasis in the hiring process for immigrants in the United States from their place of birth to their qualifications and abilities. It seeks to provide employers with the opportunity to hire individuals based on their merits rather than their country of origin.

Many individuals who plan to immigrate for employment purposes are currently residing and working in the United States on temporary visas. They often have to wait for an available visa to be granted. Due to the limitations imposed on the number of visas allocated to their home country, some of these individuals end up staying in temporary status for several years.

This proposed law aims to alleviate the backlog faced by individuals who experience the longest waiting times. More specifically, the EAGLE Act seeks to gradually eliminate the 7% cap on employment-based immigrant visas per country while simultaneously increasing the cap on family-sponsored visas per country to 15%.

Senator Cramer emphasized the important contribution of highly skilled immigrant doctors and nurses in rural states like North Dakota, where they often provide specialized healthcare services that may otherwise be unavailable. He argued that per-country caps in immigration policies are illogical and advocated for a skills-based approach to immigration.

Click here to view EAGLE Act Bill 2023 text. Current status and summary of the bill can be viewed here.

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