‘Economically Stupid’: Donald Trump’s Ban on H-1B Visas Has Left Immigrants Worried About Future

File image of Donald Trump / Reuters

File image of Donald Trump / Reuters

US President Donald Trump directed his administration to reform the H-1B visa system and move in the direction of merit-based immigration. This new rule has left many Indians worried.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: June 23, 2020, 12:44 PM IST

On Monday, US President Donald Trump directed his administration to reform the H-1B visa system and move in the direction of merit-based immigration, White House officials have said. The President is suspending H-1B, L-1 and other temporary visas in a move to “protect” the local workers facing unemployment amid pandemic.

“Moving to a merit-based immigration system,” the White House said in a statement after Trump announced the temporary suspension of H1-B and other visas till the end of 2020. The statement went on to say that the Trump administration would reform the system to prioritise skilled workers and protect American jobs.

The White House statement said that these changes would help protect the salaries of American workers and ensure that foreign labour coming into the US is high-skilled and do not undercut the United States labour market.

“The more permanent actions that he is directing us to take include reforming the H-1B system to move in the direction of a more merit-based system. You hear the president talk all the time about getting the best and the brightest, and you also hear him talking about protecting American jobs. So, these reforms will do both,” a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call, according to news agency PTI.

A move that directly affects Indian professionals, Twitter users expressed concern regarding the new rule brought in place.

Not just Indians, the H-1B debate rocked persons of different nationalities that may come under scanner after Trump’s decision.

Prominent Twitter users also voiced their concern against the ban.

“Those who believe legal immigration, particularly work visas, are harmful to the American worker do not understand the American economy,” US Senate candidate Lindsey Graham wrote.

In fact, SpaceX and Tesla chief Elon Musk, who has more or less been on the same page as Trump through the lockdown restrictions laid down in the US during pandemic, disagreed with the ban.

Disappointed by move, Google chief Sundar Pichai said he and his company would “continue to stand with immigrants”. “Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today. Disappointed by today’s proclamation – we’ll continue to stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.”

(With PTI inputs)


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