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“We Are Americans”: Indian-American ‘Dreamer’ To US Lawmakers

Athulya Rajakumar is an aspiring journalist


An Indian-American documented dreamer has advised lawmakers that she is an American and hopes to be recognised as one and never pressured to depart the US in eight months within the absence of any significant legislative reforms within the immigration system that addressed the problem of aged out children. Documented dreamers are youngsters who come to the United States as dependants of their dad and mom – who themselves have authorized allow to work within the US, like holding the H-1B overseas work visa. When these youngsters flip 21 years of age, they lose their dependency standing.

“Without a change in eight months, I will be forced to leave, not only my home of 20 years but also my mom who is my only family left,” Athulya Rajakumar, a 23-year-old latest graduate of the University of Texas at Austin from the Moody College of Communication, advised members of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship and Border Safety on Tuesday.

Testifying earlier than the subcommittee throughout a listening to on “Removing Barriers to Legal Migration,” the Indian-American advised the Senators that over 5,000 documented dreamers face this yearly.

“We are Americans, and all we hope is to be recognised as that, to finally give meaning to the lives we have lived here so far. I hope you can improve the dream for all of us,” Ms Rajakumar mentioned.

“I learned very young that every aspect of my life would be controlled by my status,” she mentioned.

“Erin, a nursing graduate was forced to self-deport last summer in the midst of a pandemic,…a data analyst student was forced to self-deport two months ago, Summer will be forced to self-deport in four months, even though her family has legally resided here since she was a baby,” she mentioned.

An aspiring journalist, Ms Rajakumar, from Washington State, shared the story of her household’s wrestle by way of years of immigration limbo, which contributed to her brother’s tragic demise.

“I’m outraged by this broken system that you, your brother, and thousands of documented dreamers have had to face. We organised this hearing today because we cannot allow the inaction of Congress to continue to cause this suffering,” Senator Alex Padilla mentioned in his remarks.

Mr Padilla is chair of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, Barriers to authorized migration routinely separate households throughout worldwide borders for years, he mentioned.

“Visa caps that keep employers from expanding their businesses and hold back the US economy, an arbitrary cutoff for legal status that forced children, visa holders, to leave the only country they’ve ever known when they age out of their parents’ visas. The gap between our country’s needs and the realities of our broken immigration system should come as no surprise,” Mr Padilla mentioned.

According to the Senator, at present, there is a backlog of 1.four million people who find themselves eligible for employment-based visas.

“Employment-based visas allow participating immigrants to bring extraordinary skills to our workforce, start new businesses, create new jobs in rural areas, and to help address worker shortages in industries like health care,” he mentioned.

“But only 140,000 of these individuals can obtain visas every year. Because the spouses and children who accompany them count against the total, far fewer than 70,000 visas actually go to eligible workers. Hundreds of thousands of others are left in limbo, restricted by a temporary visa, or turned away from their dreams and they’re kept from realising their potential,” he mentioned.

Ranking Member Senator John Cornyn mentioned the Congressional Research Service just lately estimated that with out vital modifications, the employment-based inexperienced card backlog may exceed 2 million by 2030.

Employment-based visas, often known as inexperienced playing cards, permit migrants to achieve lawful everlasting residence within the US with a purpose to interact in expert work.

“Indian nationals have been hit especially hard because our system’s per-country caps do not allow them to receive more than seven per cent of the available employment-based visas in any given year,” he mentioned.

“To make matters worse due to processing inefficiencies attributable in part to USCIS’ paper-based system and to the closures of many of our consulates, we fail to issue as many as 92,000 employment-based visas in the height of the pandemic,” he mentioned.

Ms Rajakumar advised lawmakers that she obtained a full-time supply from a significant information company in Houston, a high 10 market, however the identical firm who noticed her potential withdrew their supply the second they heard about her visa standing. “But worst of all, being considered an alien, an outsider in the only place you know to call home is a different kind of pain,” she mentioned.

Dip Patel, president of Improve The Dream, in an announcement, mentioned that Ms Rajakumar’s transferring testimony exhibits the pressing have to replace the damaged system, together with the necessity to completely finish the issue of ageing for youngsters who’re raised and educated within the United States.

“For thousands of young people growing up with uncertainty, there is constant anxiety regarding one’s future in what we consider our home. Delay in taking action will not only lead to tearing more families apart but also continue the immense emotional turmoil faced by thousands of families who contribute to our country and call America home. We urge Congress to consider this and act fast to pass common-sense immigration reform,” he mentioned.

During the listening to, Mr Padilla questioned Ms Rajakumar about her expertise as a documented dreamer and the way a pathway to citizenship and the enactment of America’s Children Act would affect her life.

Ms Rajakumar pointed to the truth that it could imply that she would not should be separated from her household and the nation she’s referred to as her dwelling for the final twenty years.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits US firms to make use of overseas staff in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical experience. The know-how firms rely on it to rent tens of hundreds of staff annually from nations like India and China.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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