Dr. Sampath Shivangi, a Republican, recently brought to the notice of President Trump the plight of Indian guest workers waiting for green cards during a fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago club, handing a memorandum to the president on behalf of a group representing over 500,000 high-skilled immigrants from India.
Shivangi, who is the legislative chair of AAPI, and has briefed lawmakers on Capitol Hill about the plight of H1-B workers in green card limbo, and has worked for a separate bill for doctors on guest worker visas as well, said he had received several requests from high-skilled workers from India, including medical professionals, after the president came back from his recent India visit to personally bring the issue to the president’s attention. “They actually wanted me to ask the president if he can pass an executive order to expedite green cards for those who already have an EAD (Employment Authorization Document),” Shivangi, a member of U.S. Advisory Committee on Mental Health, told this correspondent.
The memorandum by the nonprofit High Skilled Immigrants for America urges the president, among others, to allow Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and USCIS to receive application for Adjustment of Status with an approved I-140 immigrant petition. Shivangi is the chair of the nonprofit’s green card backlog committee.
“I met with the president one- on-one for a few minutes and mentioned to him about the content of the nonprofit’s petition that I carried with me at the March 8 fundraiser for Trump at the resort. After briefing him, I handed over the petition to Tyler B. Lane, director of Special Projects at the White House, who assured me that the petition will be evaluated, and that I will have a response in a few days,” Shivangi, chair of Mississippi State Board of Mental Health, who is close to President Trump, said.
“Our goal was to reach at the presidential and White House level as we have tried at the Congressional and Senatorial levels earlier. This was the only chance to send a message to the highest office in the land,” Shivangi told India Abroad.
The petition, Shivangi said, calls for president’s attention to help ease high-skilled immigration issues that are bothering them for decades, including green card backlogs, because of which children, whose parents are yet to receive green cards cannot continue to live with them if they have reached the age of 21, the legal age limit for children to live as their H-1 B parents’ dependents. This has created crisis in families, he said.
“I was successful in presenting the petition prepared by high skilled immigrants group in USA and met with the White House staff and personally discuss and sought quick resolution before the end of the year,” Shivangi added.
The March 8 fundraiser for Trump was attended by more than 50 Indian Americans from all over the country, including, Vijay Amritraj, a former tennis player, sports commentator and occasional actor, and scores of other prominent Trump followers, including Matt Kumar, chairman, Innovation of NYC, Dr. Suresh Reddy, AAPI president and its treasurer Dr. Raj Bhayani and AAPI president-elect Dr. Sudhakar Jennalgadda.
There were more than 600 “serious followers” of Trump who descended on West Palm Beach and Mara A Lago, Shivangi said.
The breakfast fundraiser at the Mar-a-Lago resort that cost $50,000 for a table of eight was held ahead of a scheduled fundraiser in late August in Jackson, Mississippi, to be organized by Shivangi, in association with Gov. Tate Reeves, immediate past Gov. Phil Bryant, along with Mississippi Republican Party chair Lucien Smith and others.