Indian IT Professionals in thousands Stare at ‘Self-Deportation’ in view of Trump’s ‘no extension to H-1B visa’ proposal

Indian IT Professionals in thousands Stare at ‘Self-Deportation’ in view of Trump’s ‘no extension to H-1B visa’ proposal

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H-1B visa issued for 3-6 years to employers to hire a foreign worker

  • US move could affect hundreds of thousands of foreign workers

  • Proposal a part of Donald Trump‘s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative

 (TIP): US is
 considering new regulations aimed at preventing the extension of H-1B 
visas, predominantly used by Indian IT professionals, as part of 
president Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative, a 
media report has said.

The move could directly stop hundreds of
 thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H-1B visas while their 
green card applications are pending.

The proposal, which is being shared between the Department of Homeland Security Department (DHS)
 heads, is part of President Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” 
initiative promised during the 2016 campaign, US-based news agency McClatchy’s DC Bureau reported.

It aims to impose new restrictions to 
prevent abuse and misuse of H-1B visas, besides ending the provision of 
granting extension for those who already have a green card.

“The act currently allows the 
administration to extend the H-1B visas for thousands of immigrants, 
predominantly Indian immigrants, beyond the allowed two three-year terms
 if a green card is pending,” the report said.

“The idea is to create a sort of ‘self- deportation‘ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” it said, quoting a source briefed by Homeland Security officials.

“The agency is considering a number of 
policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American,
 Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of 
employment-based visa programs,” said Jonathan Withington, chief of 
media relations for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services 

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa 
that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty 
occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

It is typically issued for three to six 
years to employers to hire a foreign worker. But H-1B holders who have 
begun the green card process can often renew their work visas 

The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

The proposed changes would have a 
dramatic effect particularly on Indian visa holders considering more 
than half of all H-1B visas have been awarded to Indian nationals, the 
report said, quoting the Pew Research Center report.

“This would be a major catastrophic 
development as many people have been waiting in line for green cards for
 over a decade, have US citizen children, own a home,” said Leon Fresco, who served as a deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department in the Obama administration who now represent H-1B workers.

Fresco estimates more than 1 million H1-B
 visa holders in the country are waiting for green cards, many of whom 
are from India and have been waiting for more than a decade.

Software body Nasscom
 has flagged its concerns over visa-related issues and has taken it up 
with Senators, Congressmen and the administration. “That formulation has
 conditions which are extremely onerous and makes it very difficult for 
people to not just get the visa but also on how they can be used,” R 
Chandrashekhar, President, National Association for Software and 
Services Companies (Nasscom) told PTI.

Influential Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
 said: “Imposing these draconian restrictions on H-1B visa holders will 
tear families apart, drain our society of talent and expertise, and 
damage our relationship with an important partner, India.

“This proposal could lead to the 
deportation of an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders,
 many of whom are small business owners and job creators who are helping
 to build and strengthen our US economy. his brain drain will stifle 
innovation and decrease our ability to compete in the global 21st 
century economy,” Gabbard said.

In a statement the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) sounded alarm over the Trump administration‘s
 proposal to deny extensions of H-1B visas to green card applicants and 
leaving them with no choice but to return to the country of origin or be

“It’s a baffling calculation. How would 
deporting hundreds of thousands of skilled workers, the very backbone of
 our STEM industries, in any way advance an ‘America First’ agenda?” 
Shukla asked.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi
 said while priority must continue to be improving advanced training for
 domestic workforce, ending H-1B visa extensions would kneecap American 
economy and encourage companies to further offshore jobs, instead of 
making those investments here.

“I hope the administration immediately rejects this proposal,” he said.

Ro Khanna said the proposal was “anti- immigrant”.

“My parents came here on green cards. So
 did @sundarpichai, @elonmusk, @satyanadella. Trump is saying to 
immigrants and their kids we don’t have a place in America. It’s not 
just wrong. It’s dumb. Mr President, would America really be greater 
without us?” he asked in a tweet.

According to Aman Kapoor of Immigration Voice, H-1B extension change would be just wrong at every level.

“It will be a catastrophe of epic 
proportion for Indian- American community leading to mass exodus of 
close to 1.5 million people (around 750,000 primary applicants on H-1B 
visa and another 750,000+ spouses and children),” he said.


Tsion Chudnovsky
, an immigration and business lawyer in California
 said: “Given the dramatic effect this proposal could have on the 
Technology industry, it doesn’t seem likely it could garner enough 
support to be enacted as stated.”


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