By Arul Louis
New York, Jan 15 (IANS): Making a pitch for immigration reforms, a Republican lawmaker has cited the contributions of Indian immigrants, who, he said, pay 6 per cent of taxes in the US.
Saying that the US must "make sure we streamline the immigration process", Rich McCormick said that Indians "represent some of the best citizens we have in America".
"They pay about 6 per cent of the taxes and (are) among the top producers," he said of the Asian Indians who number 4.5 million, making up 1.4 per cent of the total US population of 333 million.
Last year, the US collected $4.9 trillion in income tax and 6 per cent of that would be $294 billion.
Asian Indians have the highest income among ethnic groups with a median household income of $119,000.
They also have the highest education level with 43 per cent having post-graduate education, according to Pew Research organisation.
The Asian Indians, who number 137,000 in the Atlanta area of his state of Georgia, "do not cause problems and follow laws", he said.
McCormick, who is a doctor specialising in emergency medicine, said that they "don't have the problems other people have when they come to the emergency room for overdoses, because these are the most productive and family-centred".
McCormick represents a constituency that encompasses the suburbs of Atlanta, an area that has seen an influx of Asian Indians in recent years, fuelled impart by the growth of the science and technology sectors.
With the long wait for permanent resident status for Indians, a legislation to make more green cards available for them died in the last Congress session.
The legislation, which had the backing of members of both parties and President Joe Biden's administration, would have eliminated the limit of 20,000 green cards for each country with some exceptions.
The matter is expected to come up again in the current session.
There are 369,000 Indians waiting for green cards based on their employment for a total of 700,000, including family members.
According to the State Department, only green card applications based on employment made for most Indians have been cleared till October 2011.
The Cato Institute warned that the wait could extend to 90 years for Indians as more Indians, especially those on temporary work visas, join the pipeline
McCormick is a former Marine helicopter pilot and a Navy commander who served as a doctor with US troops in Afghanistan.
He ran in the 2022 election calling himself an "outsider" and polled 62.2 per cent of the votes to defeat his Democratic Party rival Bob Christian.
Earlier in the Republican Party's primary election to select the candidate for the constituency he defeated Jake Evans, who was backed by former President Donald Trump.