White House considering expansion of green cards for immigrant workers


The White House is reportedly weighing a proposal that would provide hundreds of thousands of new green cards as President Obama moves toward executive actions on immigration.

Business and immigration organizations have presented the White House with a proposal that would dramatically expand the green card program for high-tech workers and the relatives of existing U.S. citizens and permanent residents, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

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The proposal suggests altering how green cards — which are capped at 226,000 for family members and 140,000 for specialized employment — are counted by the federal government.

Rather than counting each individual family member against the overall cap, the government under the proposal would instead only count the primary green card holder, and not siblings, spouses or children.

“We’ve given the president what we think are options under his existing authority — meaningful, albeit short-term, reforms,” Scott Corley, the executive director of Compete America, a group of high-tech firms, told the paper.

Peter Muller, director of immigration policy for Intel, told The Hill earlier this month that his company had been advocating increasing high-skilled visas and green cards in meetings with the administration.

“They’ve definitely given us signs that they are interested in all the options that are out there in the realm of high-skilled immigration,” he said.

White House officials say the president has not yet made any final decisions about what administrative actions Obama will take on immigration, promising an announcement by “the end of summer.”

Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson are expected to present the president a slate of options for his consideration.

“When we get there, we’ll probably have some news to make on immigration,” press secretary Josh Earnest said on Monday.


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