"If you are born in India, you cannot get a Green Card in your lifetime. This is not fair"

We did everything right, followed the law, paid taxes, contributed to the community, taught our kids to do the right thing and then, too, also we are being punished: Frontline health care worker Rinki Saini from Wisconsin shares her personal story

"If you are born in India, you cannot get a Green Card in your lifetime. This is not fair"

I am a skilled legal immigrant from India who came to the USA a decade ago on a dependent visa (H4), with my husband and two children. My husband is an engineer and came on a high skilled immigrant visa called H-1B. I am an engineer and a registered nurse in urgent care.

When I came to the United States, spouses of H-1B had no rights. I could not work, had no Social Security Number (SSN) and could not use my skills. But the H4 visa allowed me to study. Sitting at home killed my mental health, and my skills. So, I decided to study and took up nursing.

By 2016, H4 visa holders (only spouses NOT children) got the right to work if I140 was approved. I completed my BSN and started working at a hospital, and then at urgent care. I work with covid patients everyday risking my family’s, as well as my life, even as we suffer the 150 years of the green card backlog.