BAL Partner Lynden Melmed Testifies Before Senate Judiciary on Improving Immigration
23 Mar, 2022
DALLAS, March 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — BAL Partner Lynden Melmed testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety, in the hearing “Removing Barriers to Legal Migration to Strengthen our Communities and Economy.” Lynden leads BAL’s Government Strategies Team and previously served as Chief Counsel for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Lynden’s testimony sounded the alarm that the wait time for employment-based immigrants to get a green card is at a tipping point. “If you ask any company in any industry what the single biggest problem is with the U.S. high-skilled immigration system, you will encounter something rare in the immigration debate: consensus,” Lynden said. “All agree that the lengthy green card backlog is the central problem.”
Pointing to systemic factors contributing to years-long wait times – from outdated manual processing to burdensome policies – he warned that the growing backlog cannot be solved by staffing or resource allocation. Further, he emphasized that improvements to the immigration system would boost the economy, saying, “Expanding legal immigration would increase the pace of economic growth, lower the budget deficit by nearly $3 trillion over 10 years, and boost per capita income by $1,700 over 10 years.”
Lynden stressed the demand for global talent to fill roles in STEM and other fields in order for the U.S. to remain competitive, and noted that the U.S. is losing talent to other countries like Canada that offer a streamlined permanent residency process. He concluded his testimony by offering practical solutions that focus on U.S. competitiveness and job creation. Pointing to proposals such as increasing the number of employment-based visa numbers available to skilled immigrants, recapturing unused green card numbers, and streamlining filing requirements, he urged Congress to take action.
“By doing nothing, the U.S. is going backwards,” he said.
“We’re glad to see Congress’ interest in addressing problems in the U.S. immigration system, and there’s no one better informed on this issue than Lynden,” said BAL Managing Partner Jeremy Fudge. “He and our Government Strategies team are well-connected with key policymakers, advocate for businesses and high-skilled immigration in Washington, and keep our clients and industry leaders informed about anticipated policy changes and how they will impact their businesses. He is the preeminent expert on U.S. immigration policy, and we are hopeful that Congress is persuaded to act.”
Watch the full hearing.
Read Lynden’s testimony.
About Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP (BAL)
BAL, the world’s leading corporate immigration law firm, ranks #1 on the Diversity Scorecard by The American Lawyer (2020 and 2021), #1 on Law360’s Diversity Snapshot (2020 and 2021), and the #1 Law Firm for Women according to the National Law Journal (2019, 2020 and 2021). BAL’s Cobalt® digital immigration services platform won the 2020 CODiE Award for Best Legal Tech Product, the prestigious CIO100 award for Innovative Use of Intelligent Automation in Immigration Services, and Legalweek‘s Most Innovative Law Firm Operations Team of 2021. BAL is singularly focused on meeting the immigration challenges of corporate clients around the world in ways that make immigration more strategic and enable clients to be more successful. Established in 1980, BAL has consistently provided immigration expertise, top-notch information security and leading technology innovation. The firm entered into a strategic alliance with Deloitte UK to create the world’s first global immigration service delivery model. BAL and its leaders are highly ranked in every major legal publication, including Best Lawyers®, Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500, and Who’s Who Legal. See website for details: https://www.bal.com
SOURCE Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP