Peters Leads Effort to Clear ‘Green Card’ Backlog

A sample Green Card. Courtesy Department of Homeland Security

Rep. Scott Peters and a Texas colleague are leading an effort to clear up a backlog in “Green Card” applications from foreign high-tech workers educated in the United States.

Peters, Rep. Joaquin Castro and 71 other member of Congress sent a letter to President Obama on Monday urging him to take action to end the delay affecting some 200,000 applicants.

The lawmakers are urging the President to take advantage of unused green cards — so-called visa recapture — to admit more high-tech workers. They say the delay unnecessarily hampers economic growth, keeps families separated and makes it more difficult for American entrepreneurs to keep the talented individuals they need to grow their businesses.

“If we want the best and brightest from around the world, who we are educating at American universities, to stay here and start or join innovative ventures here in the United States, we must fix this broken system,” Peters said. “Using his authority, President Obama can help eliminate the backlog of green card applications, retain talent educated in America, and enhance our nation’s ability to lead in today’s global economy.”

A Green Card holder is someone who has been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.

Peters, who represents the 52nd District, has frequently supported the needs of San Diego’s technology industries.