Amazon is proud to hire people from around the world and, and as I shared in August, we’re passionate about supporting our employees and their families, including those who have immigrated to the U.S. On behalf of those employees, Amazon is leading the way when it comes to reducing the green card backlog. Through multiple letters and private meetings, we called on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to issue all of the available green cards before this year’s September 30 deadline. As of this post, USCIS signaled it had met its full allotment for the first time in several years, issuing more than 280,000 employment-based green cards in fiscal year (FY) 2022.
This is a major feat. We appreciate USCIS’ response to ours and other stakeholders’ messages about the urgency of the situation. Amazon applauds the thousands of USCIS workers who worked hard and spent endless hours getting this done. However, our work is not over.
Many Amazon employees with current “priority dates,” meaning that an individual was at the front of the line for an available green card, did not receive a green card in FY 2022. That means many of them will see their wait extended, adding to their already unacceptably long wait times. Once again, we directly asked USCIS to adjudicate these longstanding cases and ensure they again meet their green card goals for FY 2023. In the meantime, we continue to do everything we can to advocate and provide resources for our backlogged employees still waiting for their green cards.
Going forward, we will double down every year on advocacy to prevent green card wastage. Amazon stands ready to work with President Biden’s administration and offer suggestions to improve the process. But our work doesn’t end there. We will continue lobbying Congress to eliminate the discriminatory laws that create longer wait times for individuals who were born in certain countries. We also want USCIS to be able to recapture unused green cards, so that if the agency doesn’t use all of its allotment, the green cards don’t disappear at the end of the fiscal year.
We’ve heard from so many Amazon employees about how the green card backlog has impacted their daily lives, both professionally and personally. Their stories serve as a reminder of the importance of our advocacy. As part of our continued efforts, we are going to be sharing more of our backlogged employees’ stories with policymakers. Supporting immigrant rights and immigration reform remains a top priority for me and my leadership team.