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SHM Supports the Equal Access to Green Cards for Legal Employment Act

July 12, 2021

SHM's Policy Efforts

SHM supports legislation that affects hospital medicine and general healthcare, advocating for hospitalists and the patients they serve.

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The Honorable Zoe Lofgren
U.S. House of Representatives
1401 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable John R. Curtis
U.S. House of Representatives
2400 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Representatives Lofgren and Curtis,

The Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) is pleased to offer its support for the Equal Access to Green cards for Legal Employment Act, also known as the EAGLE Act of 2021. This legislation will simplify the employment-based immigration system into a "first-come, first-serve" system that does not discriminate on country of origin. 

Hospitalists are physicians whose professional focus is the general medical care of hospitalized patients. Members of the hospital medicine team, which includes hospitalists, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other clinical and non-clinical staff, are front-line healthcare providers in America's hospitals for millions of patients each year. As a result, hospitalists have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic in hospitals around the country. Many of the hospitalists who have worked tirelessly on the frontlines of the pandemic are also immigrant physicians who entered the United States on employment-based visas like the H1-B. However, many of these hospitalists, particularly from populous countries such as India and China, find themselves stuck in decades-long backlogs waiting for their green cards.

Immigrant physicians are essential members of the hospital medicine team. Their skills, expertise, and compassion are needed throughout the country to continue the fight against COVID-19 and ensure communities maintain access to lifesaving care. Immigrant hospitalists work in every part of the United States rural and urban areas alike, caring for patients in academic medical centers, community hospitals, and critical access hospitals. Many of them have been in the United States for most of their careers, caring for their communities, buying homes, and starting families. However, the decades-long green card wait-times limits their professional opportunities and creates uncertainty for them and their families. Passing the EAGLE Act will help alleviate the interminable green card backlog, reduce uncertainty around residency status, and create stability care and ensures that physicians who are interwoven into communities across the country stay in their communities.

The EAGLE Act of 2021 will convert our employment-based immigration system into a "first-come, first-serve" system that does not discriminate on country of origin. Passing this legislation will help hospitals and hospitalist groups retain a highly skilled hospitalist workforce.

We appreciate your efforts on this important issue and stand ready to work with you on its passage.


Jerome C. Siy, MD, MHA, SFHM
President, Society of Hospital Medicine