President Trump signed a declaration recently restricting the foreign workers from entering and working in the US issued on June 22. This restriction is applicable to various industries but especially to the H-1B visa– which is used to hire proficient workers for the tech industry and suspending entries of certain categories of non-immigrant visa holders and their family members. This visa application turned out to be a Golden Ticket to paradise. If the person able to qualify all the criteria, once succeed to get the hands-on these bad boys, you can able to live, work, and after a while can apply for a green card (a permanent residential status). The suspension will be effected until December 31.
But with this proclamation, Indians who were looking to start their career in the US have to reconsider their aim. Not only India is affected by these restrictions but all Silicon Valley seemed to share the same sentiments.
Looking at the situation, the trade body president of IT company, NASSCOM, said that “without their continuous contribution to the US economy, the economic pain could worsen, the industry will slow down and the timeline for the treatment and cure for the Covid-19 would lengthen”. They also asked the US government to reduce the duration of the suspension to 90 days instead of the year-end.
But Trump has decided to work in a different way, in the proclamation he said that “Under the circumstances of Covid-19, this visa application of foreign workers to the US will pose an unusual threat to the American workers”. There was a major twitter argument on Trump’s declaration Sundar Pichai, the Indian born CEO of Google and Alphabet he was disappointed with Trump’s order to restrict immigration including H-1B visa application holders. He twitted, “Immigration has contributed immensely to the American economic success making it the global leader in tech and also Google a company what it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunities for all”. He took a great stand not only for the visa applicants but also for providing a helping hand towards employment.
There will be a major impact on India’s businesses. The US issues around 85,000 H-1B visas to immigrants every year and more than 70% of them are from India. Most of them are for Infosys and Tata consultancy services than some of the big US tech companies combined. This move will impact the American tech firms more than the Indian IT service providers, which have, over the last years, weaned off their dependencies on the H-1B visa-holders ( hiring staff locally).
Donald Trump’s H-1B visa order leaves the US workers stuck in India. Not only this, but it also left thousands of US workers separated and stranded from their families. Since Trump took over the offices in India, three fourth of the H-1B visa holders working in the tech sector felt a creepy unease. This order led the workers to worry about their job cuts over the companies as they are looking for more highly skilled workers. This situation was examined intensely by Greg Siskind, an immigration lawyer in Memphis, claiming that, “they are using the pandemic as an excuse to execute their anti-immigration goals which they want to do years back.”
But still, people are flying back and forth to the US to meet families, attend weddings or funerals, work assignments, or for their mundane work needed to be done.
A senior policy analyst with the Migration Policy institute, Julia Gerratt, claims that “About 3,70,000 temporary visa-holders and a green card will be banned to enter the US until the next year”. Now the families worry what another six months of uncertainty will bring to their family living in the Silicon Valley, a question asked by Bhat, “I have got a valid visa, I have been living in the Bay for eight years, I have a life and a home there, my husband and kids are there, Will I ever go back?”