US President Donald Trump has issued a proclamation to suspend issuing of H-1B visas, which is popular among Indian IT professionals, along with other foreign work visas for the rest of the year. Trump said the step was essential to help millions of Americans who have lost their jobs due to the current economic crisis.
Issuing the proclamation ahead of the November presidential elections, Trump has ignored the mounting opposition to the order by various business organisations, lawmakers and human rights bodies. The proclamation that comes into effect on June 24, is expected to impact a large number of Indian IT professionals and several American and Indian companies who were issued H-1B visas by the US government for the fiscal year 2021 beginning October 1.
They would now have to wait at least till the end of the current year before approaching the US diplomatic missions to get stamping. It would also impact a large number of Indian IT professionals who are seeking renewal of their H-1B visas.
“In the administration of our Nation’s immigration system, we must remain mindful of the impact of foreign workers on the United States labour market, particularly in the current extraordinary environment of high domestic unemployment and depressed demand for labour,” said the proclamation issued by Trump. The visa suspension is in line with Trump’s America first clarion call.
In his proclamation, Trump said that the overall unemployment rate in the United States nearly quadrupled between February and May of 2020 — producing some of the most extreme unemployment rates ever recorded by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While the May rate of 13.3 per cent reflects a marked decline from April, millions of Americans remain out of work.
The proclamation also extends till the end of the year his previous executive order that had banned issuing of new green cards of lawful permanent residency. Green card holders, once admitted pursuant to immigrant visas, are granted “open-market” employment authorisation documents, allowing them immediate eligibility to compete for almost any job, in any sector of the economy, he said.
“American workers compete against foreign nationals for jobs in every sector of our economy, including against millions of aliens who enter the United States to perform temporary work. Temporary workers are often accompanied by their spouses and children, many of whom also compete against American workers,” Trump said.