Freeze on green cards till Oct evokes anger

The freeze has hit Indians hard, who flew their families to the US and spent money on processing of documents, reports Aditya Ghosh.
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Updated on Jul 05, 2007 03:48 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | ByAditya Ghosh, Mumbai

Legal immigrants in the US are up in arms over the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decision to freeze processing of green card applications till October.

The reversal of an earlier decision announced in June followed the realisation that the green card quota for the year was already used up.

“The sudden backlog reduction efforts by Citizenship and Immigration Services Offices in the past month have resulted in the use of almost 60,000 employment numbers,” the USCIS explained in a bulletin. “As a result, it is necessary to make immediate adjustments to several previously announced cut-off dates.”

The freeze has hit Indians hard as many flew their families to the US, paid attorney fees and spent money on processing documents and medical tests. Now, protests have been launched on the Internet through blogs and chain mails. Many are even contemplating filing lawsuits against the freeze.

On June 12, thousands holding employment visas celebrated when USCIS said it would accept green card applications. “There was a scramble to fulfill the long list of requirements. We made numerous calls to India to gather documents, finished medical exams. It was a rude shock when on July 2 it was announced that no more applications would be accepted,” Kunal Gupta, a computer analyst with the University of South Florida, told HT over email.

Aman Kapoor, founder and president of Immigration Voice, an NGO that helps legal immigrants in the US, told HT in an email: “We are reaching out to various agencies to determine options available to applicants.

The American Immigration Lawyers Association is thinking of filing a lawsuit against the USCIS over its rejection of otherwise properly-filed adjustment-of-status applications for the alleged reason that a visa was not available, even though the visa bulletin from the State Department states that a visa was available at the time of filing.”

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