Joe Biden

Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3648 - Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022

December 06, 2022


(Rep. Lofgren, D-CA and 83 cosponsors)

The Administration supports efforts to improve our immigrant visa system and ease the harsh effects of the immigrant visa backlog. Accordingly, the Administration supports House passage of H.R. 3648, the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act, and its goal of allowing U.S. employers to focus on hiring immigrants based on merit, not their birthplace, by eliminating the "per country" limitation on employment-based immigrant visas (green cards). As currently written, these changes would take effect over a nine-year transition period to ensure that no countries are excluded from receiving visas while the per-country caps are phased out. During the transition period, visas would also be set aside for nurses and physical therapists to address urgent needs in the healthcare industry, and for employment-based immigrants and their family members who are not currently in the United States.

H.R. 3648 also seeks to improve the H-1B specialty occupation visa program by strengthening recruitment requirements, increasing protections for U.S. workers, improving transparency, and easing the process for the Department of Labor (DOL) to investigate H-1B employer abuses. As this legislation moves forward, the Administration urges the Congress to work with the Department of Labor to ensure that the legislation effectively advances these goals and to address any administrative issues or unintended impacts on the current enforcement regime.

H.R. 3648 also includes important provisions to allow individuals who have been waiting in the immigrant visa backlog for two years to file their green card applications. Although the applications could not be approved until a visa becomes available, this would allow employment-based immigrants to transition off of their temporary visas and provide them with additional flexibilities in changing employers or starting a business. Importantly, the bill would also keep families together by ensuring that children of employment-based immigrants do not age out of dependent status or lose their eligibility for a green card.

These changes would help alleviate the effects of the visa backlogs that have left hundreds of thousands of immigrants waiting for years to receive permanent residence simply because of their country of origin.

For generations, immigrants have contributed to key sectors of the U.S. economy and fortified our most valuable competitive advantage-our spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. Immigrants keep our economy growing, our communities thriving, and our country moving forward. In addition to passing H.R. 3648, the Administration urges the Congress to pass the U.S. Citizenship Act, which would further reform and improve the immigrant visa system by increasing lawful pathways to the United States, provide a path to citizenship to millions of undocumented immigrants, and establish a new system to responsibly manage and secure our border.

Joseph R. Biden, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 3648 - Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment (EAGLE) Act of 2022 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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