National Security Agreement 'dead on arrival,’ how it affects US Indian diaspora - Hindustan Times

National Security Agreement is 'dead on arrival,’ experts believe it could shatter US' Indian diaspora's hopes

BySumanti Sen
Feb 06, 2024 01:44 PM IST

The National Security Agreement is a $118.28 billion package recently announced after negotiations between The Democratic and Republican representatives

The National Security Agreement, which is a $118.28 billion package that was recently announced after negotiations between The Democratic and Republican representatives, has reportedly been declared “dead on arrival.” The agreement sought to strengthen border security, and provide more assistance to Israel and Ukraine. It also contains certain provisions related to immigration that would help immigrants, including the Indian diaspora.

New US policy guidance on F visas allows students to apply for immigrant visa and work for startups
New US policy guidance on F visas allows students to apply for immigrant visa and work for startups

The bipartisan deal, backed by the White House, was a huge relief for H-1B visa holders. Under the deal, automatic work authorisation would be granted to about 100,000 H-4 visa holders. It will also help about 250,000 aged-out children of H-1B visa holders. It also seeks toincrease the quota limits for green cards.

However, political pundits and immigration experts believe that the bill will not be passed in both houses of the US Parliament, even if it is successfully placed for voting.

Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, wrote on X, “I’ve seen enough. This bill is even worse than we expected, and won’t come close to ending the border catastrophe the President has created. As the lead Democrat negotiator proclaimed: Under this legislation, “the border never closes.” If this bill reaches the House, it will be dead on arrival.”

He wrote in another post, “This immigration bill is dead on arrival in the House. We will not pass immigration legislation that further incentivizes illegal immigration, does not reform asylum and parole in a meaningful way, and empowers President Biden and his cabinet, the architects of this catastrophe.”

Notably,a funding of $60.06 billion to support Ukraine and $14.1 billion in security assistance for Israel were included in the bill. Also included was $10 billion in humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, the West Bank, Ukraine, as well as others in conflict zones.

The move was viewed as great news bythousands of Indian technology professionals who were waiting for a Green Card. In the absence of this, their aged-out children live with the threat of being deported, and their spouses cannot work.

President Joe Biden shared a statement on this, saying of the deal, “For too long, going back decades, the immigration system has been broken. It’s time to fix it. That’s why over two months ago I instructed members of my administration to work with a bipartisan group of Senators to – finally – seriously address the issue. And, that’s what they’ve done – working around the clock, through the holidays and over weekends. Now we’ve reached an agreement on a bipartisan national security deal that includes the toughest and fairest set of border reforms in decades. I strongly support it.”

“It will make our asylum process fairer and more efficient while protecting the most vulnerable. It will expedite work permits so that those who are here and qualify can get to work more quickly. It will create more opportunities for families to come together – through short-term visits as well as increased permanent lawful pathways. It ensures the most vulnerable, unaccompanied young children, have paid legal representation,” he added, in part.

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