An announcement that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) are not considering any proposal that would force H-1B visa holders to head back towards their respective countries, has been warmly welcomed by lawmakers across the US.
Reports had previously surfaced that the Trump administration was considering tightening H-1B visa rules. It was feared that this could lead to the deportation of millions of immigrants, particularly those from India.
“The Trump Administration’s decision to back off this counterproductive proposal is a positive step forward,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, the Democratic Co-Chair of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans. “H-1B visa holders, many of whom become small business owners and job creators, drive innovation and help build and strengthen our economy,” she added.
Gabbard, along with Congressman Kevin Yoder, a member of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on India and Indian- Americans, had sent a letter to US President Donald Trump urging him to reject the proposal to deport H-1B holders awaiting permanent residency processing.
“I have seen personally how high-skilled immigrants have helped my community and so many others across the country by filling critical labour shortages in specific industries, preventing employers from fleeing overseas to fill them,” Yoder said. “These are the people who have helped America grow and thrive as a nation of immigrants and we need to make sure our system continues to value those who are following our laws and doing the right thing,” he added.
Every year, the US grants 85,000 H-1B visas to highly skilled applicants. Approximately 70 per cent of these visas go to Indians
According to the National Foundation for American Policy, more than half of privately-held companies in the US worth US$1 billion or more had at least one immigrant founder, many of whom entered America on an H-1B visa. This includes the CEOs of both Microsoft and Google.
Article published 11th January 2018