Washington: Endorsing the path to legal status for about 11 million illegal immigrants in the US, including thousands of Indian-Americans, the opposition Republican party has said that the visa and green card allocations need to reflect the market demand.
"Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help to grow our economy," said the one page basic principles of immigration reform released by the party.
While there is no direct mention of the H-1B visa programme, the party said the goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the US and to strengthen its national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the country.
It said for far too long, the US has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration.
"This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed nation. Every year thousands of foreign nationals pursue degrees at America`s colleges and universities, particularly in high skilled fields. Many of them want to use their expertise in US industries that will spur economic growth and create jobs for Americans," it said.
A leading South Asian group was quick in criticizing the Republican Party for giving less importance to family based immigration.
"The House Republican leadership`s immigration principles are out of touch with the needs of South Asian and other immigrants who are building lives and communities as well as small businesses in our country," alleged SAALT (South Asian American Leading Together).
In a statement, SAALT alleged that the Republican principles dismisses the needs of family members, emphasize harsh enforcement measures and flawed systems such as E-verify, and offer a path to legalization, but not citizenship, for most undocumented immigrants.