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Why in news?

  • President Donald Trump confirmed he would sign an order later on 22nd April 2020 partially blocking immigration to the U.S., in a move he argues would protect workers from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The President said on 21st April 2020 that he would stop the issuing of green cards — permanent residency permits — for 60 days, but would exempt temporary workers such as seasonal farm labourers.
  • About 22 million Americans have lost their jobs since the outbreak forced a global shutdown.
  • The U.S. is the world’s hardest-hit country, and health care infrastructure in hotspots such as New York has struggled to cope.
  • However, the executive order on immigration will likely spark court action to reverse it.

What is a Green Card?

  • A green card is a colloquial name for the identification card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to permanent residents, who are legally allowed to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. Green cards got their nickname because they were green in color from 1946 to 1964.
  • In 2010 they became green again, but the nickname persisted during the intervening decades of blue, pink and yellow “green cards.”
  • The green card is a permanent resident ID issued to immigrants in the U.S.
  • The green card lottery gives away up to 55,000 annual permanent visas to other countries.
  • Permanent residents can be fined or jailed for not having their green card on their person.
  • Cards must be renewed every 10 years.

How a Green Card Works?

  • Individuals can be eligible for a green card through family, work, refugee, asylee status, or a variety of special programs.
  • These include the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, which makes 50,000 visas available each year through a lottery system targeted at underrepresented countries.
  • Making investments above a certain threshold can entitle an investor to permanent resident status.
  • The Director of Central Intelligence can also grant green cards.

Indian Diaspora in the U.S.

  • Immigrants from India first arrived in the United States in small numbers during the early 19th century, primarily as low-skilled farm laborers.
  • In recent decades the population has grown substantially, with 2.4 million Indian immigrants residing in the United States as of 2015.
  • This makes the foreign born from India the second-largest immigrant group after Mexicans, accounting for almost 6 percent of the 43.3 million foreign-born population.
  • Indians comprise over 80% of all H-1B visas.
February 2024