My wife and I came to the US to have a shot at the great American dream. We were on H-1B visas under the same employer until we both got terminated for reasons like stealing money from the company (a home health agency), which was absolutely untrue. We lost our immigration status in the process, before we found a new employer for my wife who filed for the same H-1B petition and I for H-4.
But the process took a very tedious path--petition was denied at first, we filed for an appeal, and waited 25 long months before we got the approval. Why it took this long remains a mystery to everyone, including our lawyer. But we are grateful we were given another chance. Those 25 months of uncertainty, lost income and expensive lawyer and immigration fees tested the very core of our faith.
Our entire savings were nearly wiped out during that period of waiting. Just this March, we finally received the approval of the E-2 Treaty Investor's Visa I applied for last September 2013. This visa is different from the EB-5 which requires $500,000 to $1 million of investment. The E-2 is renewable every 2 years if the business meets its forecast revenues and must generate American jobs but without a path to permanent residency. We again waited another 6 months for this and grateful the USCIS gave me an opportunity to contribute to the US economy as an entrepreneur this time. My wife also received employment authorization with the visa and works as healthcare manager for the same employer who sponsored her second H-1B and is currently in talks with them for a possible employment petition for a green card--and that's another story once again.
We did not take a single penny from the government during our time without a status, and instead paid thousands of dollars to the USCIS just to get another chance to become legal in America.
Why do I support immigration reform? Because I believe in the American Dream, but the immigration system is badly broken. I believe I can contribute in securing the future of this great country. All I ask from the leaders of Congress is to look at us not as a threat to American jobs or to the economy, but as an ally in making America the great nation that it is now as it will be for the next 100 years.