The Way We Count Green Cards

The Way We Count Green Cards

"Now is the time to change the way America counts green card numbers.  Congress is presently debating comprehensive immigration reform and grand events are likely to reshape the legal landscape.  Yet, at such a seminal moment we ought not lose sight of the value of technical modifications that can have enormous consequences.  Most Americans, including virtually all policy makers, would be surprised to learn that the majority of green cards awarded each fiscal year go not to the principal aliens themselves but to dependent family members, thus reducing even further permanent migration to the United States. ... Without creating a single new immigrant visa, Congress can eliminate quota backlogs and restore relevance to a green card system that is sorely in need of such restoration.  The solution is simple but elegant: Count all members of a family together as one unit rather than as separate and distinct individuals.  Do that and systemic visa retrogression will quickly become a thing of the past." - Gary Endelman and Cyrus D. Mehta, Mar. 24, 2013.