What are the HR 1044 S. 386 Bills about

The Bill driven by Senator Lee and Senator Durbin intends to remove the limits of caps on employment/ job based green cards. This is to help bring to an end to the arbitrariness in the per-country cap for job-based visas.

A Short History of the HR 1044/ S. 386 Bills

As far back as July 2019, the HR 1044 Bill quite similar to the bill S. 386 to essentially remove limits per country was passed in House and then introduced into the Senate where it was assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee. It was around the same time in the Senate, that the S. 386 Bill was amended in light of Senator Grassley’s requests which included the additional clauses of H1B visas and some other LCA concerned topics. Subsequently, Senator Rand Paul had it blocked and eventually created a deal with Sen. Lee by putting in more amendments to S386/HR 1044 bills, with the nurses being carved out (set aside some amount). Later on, it was blocked by Sen. Durbin again, several times in Senate. A lot of dialogue has ensued over this bill from that time by several groups and until recently where there now seems to be some deal made between Senators Durbin and Lee.

A summary of the Drafts in S386 / HR 1044 bill ( with Senator Durbin’s Amendments added)

The draft bill contains 31 pages. Although majorly called bill S. 386, the original text says HR 1044. This is because of the amendments of the S.386 bill we’re simply added to the HR 1044 bill that had already been passed in the House. Essentially, both have more or less become merged into one. At least as leading to the final vote by the House. There are several changes and amendments made to the bill, as done with Senator Durbin. These include the Transitional rules text, which oversees employment green card reservations for applicants from other countries asides India and China, (the major applicants’ countries) changed from FY 2020, FY 2021 to simply a first and second fiscal year, third fiscal year, etc. To the bill providing that the Visa Bulletin and recent annual reports from the Department of State’s National Visa Center, be used to to add up the approved but still backlogged petitions from the countries to determine the identity of the two large states. Which as far as statistics are concerned will be definitely, India and China. Among several other changes.


Currently, over three million Indians are awaiting their green cards to come through. These applicants would stand to benefit if the Bill is passed. However, the new regulations around the H-1B visa could hurt a lot of Indian firms in the United States. The United States House of Representatives had the Bill cleared earlier in the year.

Notwithstanding, The Bill is believed to be more likely to face quite an amount of opposition due to the current political milieu. Especially with the President, Donald Trump’s impeachment by the US House of Representatives, still in full swing, it may prove quite difficult to get a yes vote within the already divided Congress. The H-1B provisions are also likely to impact larger companies, as it would limit their H-1B and L1 workforce to about fifty percent.

In all, while the proposed bill may have a lot of potentials in the difference it could make in the current state of immigration. It still faces quite a lot of challenges before it could be passed into law. This will be left to the House to decide its eventual outcome.

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  • February 16th, 2020
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