93% of immigrants who are on H‑4 visas and have work permits or employment authorization documents (EAD) are South Asian women. Many of them are essential workers, providing critical services during this pandemic, but they’re not able to work because of delays in processing the renewal of their work permits. Join us in urging Members of Congress to ask President-Elect Biden to extend the validity of all expired H‑4 EAD work permits on day one of his administration.
Here are 4 ways you can step up and advocate for our communities' EAD recipients:
- If you have less than a minute, spread the word to your loved ones and community members via WhatsApp. Clicking on the link will also allow you to copy and paste the message to other platforms, such as Signal or SMS.
- If you have three minutes, send our pre-written letter to your Members using democracy.io. This form uses your address to determine your elected officials and their contact information. You can use SAALT’s pre-written letter (which is also available in full under the image at the bottom of this page), or edit it and write your own, as well as tag it under “Immigration” to ensure it catches the eyes of your Representatives.
- If you have five minutes, tweet at your Members by clicking here and tagging them. You can find the name of your Representatives here, then find their Twitter accounts.
- If you have more than five minutes, and have experienced difficulties with EAD processing due to USCIS delays, tell us your story here. Hearing the human impact of this issue is essential for journalists and lawmakers to understand why it’s so urgent that the incoming Biden Administration extends work permits for all those on H‑4 visas. If you know loved ones or community members who have similar stories, ask them to detail their experiences, too.
SAALT, alongside our allies Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC, NAPAWF, and Raksha, are working with Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman to demand that the incoming Biden Administration protects our communities’ EAD recipients by extending the validity period of all expired H‑4 EADs to resolve processing delays. For more information, or to ask any further questions, please contact the SAALT’s Policy Manager Mahnoor Hussain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am a resident of your district, and am writing to request that you sign on to Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman’s letter to President-elect Joe Biden and his Administration, demanding immediate relief to the many families adversely impacted by significant delays in the processing of work authorization documents (EADs) for people on H‑4 visas. These delays in EAD renewals are causing lapses in work authorization and job losses affecting many people, mostly women of color, in my town. This is why I respectfully request that you ask President-elect Joe Biden and his Department of Homeland Security to publish a Federal Register notice on day one of their administration to extend the validity period of all expired H‑4 EADs.
As you know, in 2015, after several years of advocacy by community members, including various South Asian women’s organizations, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a rule allowing certain H‑4 dependent spouses of H‑1B visa holders to legally seek employment in the US. Once an H‑1B holder is sponsored for employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status (otherwise known as a green card) his or her H‑4 visa-holding spouse may apply for work authorization. This rule presented an important step towards rectifying gender disparities in our immigration system as around 95% of H‑4 visa holders who have secured work authorization are women. Before the rule was granted, many women on H‑4 visas described depression and isolation in moving to a new country and not being allowed to work outside of the home.
These women on H‑4 visas work in a variety of fields including as essential healthcare workers, including in research and development roles at pharmaceutical companies; these women play tremendously important roles as we continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, women are losing and will continue to lose their jobs until this is put right, disrupting the lives of their families and the functioning of employers in our districts. I respectfully request that you co-sign Representative Bonnie Watson Coleman’s letter to President Elect Joe Biden before December 9, 2020 and stand with the H‑4 EADs in our community.