Biden asks Congress to update outdated US immigration system

The US immigration system is of concern to the various stakeholders from lawmakers to business leaders as there is not an adequate workforce available in the market to run businesses in the country.

Vikal Samdariya

The US Congress / Image – American Enterprise Institute

President Biden's administration asked Congress to bring to date a woefully outdated immigration system that has not been updated in more than two decades, the White House said on August 29. The White House responded to a query on bipartisan Congress members’ letter to the Biden administration asking for help with H-1B workers and the backlog to meet workforce demands of the country.

Addressing the issue of the H-1B workers and the backlog, at the daily news briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “This is an outdated immigration system. We have asked Congress to update our woefully outdated immigration system including the temporary visa programs that haven’t been updated in more than two decades.”

As per the current regulations, workers having certain temporary visas have a limited 60 days to get new employment, pursue a new visa classification or make preparations to depart from the US altogether. “So, Congress needs to do their job and pass legislation updating our immigration laws to reflect the needs of where we are currently in this 21st-century economy,” Jean-Pierre noted.

In her statement, she highlighted President Biden’s efforts to  carry out immigration reforms in the country, stating, “He put forth an immigration-reform legislation because he took this very seriously.”

In July,  to address the gaps in the current immigration system and its gripping effects on the country’s economic development, a group of US legislators spearheaded by Congressmen Raja Krishnamoorthi and Larry Bucshon, sent a bipartisan letter to the Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. This letter was at the centre of the Jean-Pierre response.

In their letter, lawmakers highlighted the implication of current immigration in the country’s all-round development. As part of a solution to the problem, they urged the authorities to mark all dates for the filing of employment-based visa applications in the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ published Employment-Based Visa Bulletin as “current.”

Significantly, lawmakers raised concern about Canada’s recent move to facilitate the smooth immigration of skilled professionals, stating, “Given decades-long backlogs and increased recruitment by Canada of foreign STEM talent, the number of individuals who remain committed to waiting for an employment-based green card is unclear”. 


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