News: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an order suspending work visas, including the H-1B category coveted by white-collar Indians, till the year-end and extending restrictions on Green Card holders for another two months.
Here are five components of the story:
- Trump said of the 13 lakh H-1B visa workers in the US, over 8 lakh direct beneficiaries are estimated to be Indians. He also suspended most categories of H-2B, H-1B, H-4, J and L visa programmes till December-end as these presented a “significant threat to employment opportunities for Americans affected by the extraordinary economic disruptions.’’
- Trump has exempted physicians and other healthcare professionals doing Covid-related work, investors under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme and spouse of a US citizen. In the Green Card category, exemptions continue for certain Afghan and Iraqi citizens working for the US.
- Without these curbs, the US argued, it faced a potentially protracted economic recovery with persistently high unemployment. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, along with many tech giants say that this isn’tthe right time for this move.
- The Covid-19 pandemic has become a justification for Trump’s longtime intent to restrict immigration, a demand of a part of his base as well as of some in the Democratic Party who have reservations about the impact of immigration on wages.
- “The ban on H-1B visas, which are often used to fill very niche positions that are not easily found in the American workforce, will ultimately prove to be counterproductive and is an example of using a nuclear bomb to address a bar fight,” said Leon Fresco, a former deputy assistant attorney general in the Obama administration who now represents H-1B workers.
Independent Press is under threat
We believe that if we owe an explanation to anyone, it’s our readers. We make the powerful accountable to this democracy and remain answerable to only our readers. This becomes possible only with a little contribution from you. Consider making a small donation today and help us remain a free, fair and vibrant democracy watchdog.