Capstones

Graduation Date

Fall 12-31-2015

First Advisor

Prue Clarke

Subject Concentration

International

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Abstract

Increased demand for high-skilled foreign labor in recent years has led to an upsurge in applications for employment-based U.S. green cards. But the limits on the number of green cards given out each year have not changed in over two decades. This has caused a backlog in the legal immigration system leaving many immigrant workers from populous countries like India waiting many years to become permanent U.S. residents. Their legal status is entirely dependent on their jobs - they are often unable to accept promotions or switch employers easily in the interim. Any change in employment status could jeopardize their legal standing and leave them with little choice but to leave the country. Many immigrants in the green card queue say they do not have much hope of Congress acting anytime soon to address the problem but some are turning to activism to call for selective changes that would help ease the backlog burden.

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