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In a blow to Indians, Donald Trump says H-1B suspension coming any day now

US President Donald Trump stands at the podium listening to his supporters cheer as he addresses his first re-election campaign rally in several months in the midst of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) outbreak, at the BOK Center in Tulsa.(REUTERS)

EPN Desk22 June 2020 07:11

donald trump

President Trump had suspended most categories of immigration, in April, exempting relatives of US citizens and healthcare professional, to “ensure that unemployed Americans of all backgrounds will be first in line for jobs as our economy reopens”.

President Donald Trump on Saturday confirmed reports of an impending suspension of non-immigrant work visas such as H-1B and L-1, which most impact Indian companies operating in the US and Indians hoping to work here, and said an announcement is 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 before 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 struggling with record unemployment numbers caused by the lockdown of large parts of the US to fight off the coronavirus epidemic.

“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 healthcare professional, 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 professional every year. More than 70% go to Indians hired either from among those enrolled here 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 TCS, Infosys and Wipro.

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