Visa suspension move likely soon, hints Trump
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump confirmed on Saturday reports of an impending suspension of non-immigrant work visas such as H-1B and L-1, which impact Indian companies operating in the US and Indians hoping to work in that country the most, and said an announcement was expected “tomorrow or the next day”.
“We’re going to be announcing something tomorrow or the next day on visas,” Trump said to a Fox News interviewer when asked about his plans to suspend these visas, which have been
reported widely, including by Hindustan Times. “And I think it’s going to make a lot of people happy. And it’s common sense, to be honest with you.”
He refused to preview the details of the order, but linked it to the state of the economy, which is struggling with record unemployment numbers caused by the lockdown in large parts of the US to fight off the coronavirus pandemic.
“We have plenty of people looking for jobs,” he said.
Asked if there will be exclusions, or exemptions, the President
said there will be some to protect the flow of workers for big businesses. He did not specify. President Trump had suspended most categories of immigration in April, exempting relatives of US citizens and health care professionals, to “ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens”. Non-immigrants visas were spared at the time, but they are due any day now.
The United States grants 85,000 H-1B short-term work visas to highly skilled foreign professionals every year. More than 70% go to Indians hired either from among those enrolled in the US for higher studies or those brought from India. They are recruited both by US companies such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft, and Indian IT services majors such as TCS, Infosys and Wipro.
And L-1 visas are used for intracompany transfers.
These visas, especially H-1Bs, have been in the crosshairs of the
Trump administration for a long time, going way beyond the unemployment crisis brought on by the Covid-19 outbreak.
US President Donald Trump arrives at a campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday.