State Representative Padma Kuppa has been working to pass H.R. 248 – a policy resolution in the state of Michigan that calls for the federal government to quickly enact legislation addressing the backlog in employment–based (EB) green cards, including, but not limited to, H.R. 3648 (the EAGLE Act). The goals of the project were: to research the landscape of EB green cards, including the national backlog and economic impact of the immigrant workforce; to document previous and proposed legislation on the national backlog at the state and federal levels; and to identify and engage with stakeholders and key immigration partners to strengthen support for resolving the national backlog. To accomplish this, the methodology included researching and identifying potential stakeholders for a progressive coalition and adding their contact information to a stakeholder database; contacting stakeholders with requests for support and a Zoom meeting to discuss; use of research and findings to foster support; keeping a detailed log of notes for all stakeholder meetings; and organizing a stakeholder engagement meeting with supporters to strategize ways to reach key audiences and constituencies. Findings from research and key stakeholder meetings led to the following recommendations:
- Use a top-down approach to coalition building. Since green card reform is a predominantly federal issue, many state and local groups will defer to their federal partners for guidance on policy.
- In order to foster more bipartisan stakeholder support on the progressive side, focus should be placed on state–level immigrant policies that go beyond the green card process and economic impact (e.g. education, childcare).
- Support should be given to other federal legislation such as the RELIEF, Build Back Better, and EAGLE Acts.