Trump considering deportation of thousands of Indians

NewsWorld365 NewsWorld365 , January 4, 2018

US president Donald Trump’s administration is reportedly considering a proposal that could lead to the deportation of thousands of Indians and drastically impact Indian IT business.

According to an internal memo circulated in the department of homeland security, the US government could ask workers with H-1B visas to leave the country while they wait for pending green cards to come through, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

If the proposal goes through, it could put the visa status of between 500,000 and 750,000 Indians in jeopardy, sending them back home abruptly.

The H-1B visa, granted to highly-skilled workers, is typically issued for three years, with an option to extend it for another three. But H-1B holders who are on the green card route are allowed to renew their work visas indefinitely.

“The idea is to create a sort of ‘self-deportation’ of hundreds of thousands of Indian tech workers in the United States to open up those jobs for Americans,” a source briefed by homeland security officials told US news service McClatchy. This is in line with the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that Trump signed in April 2017 with the promise of bringing jobs back to the country.

The agency is “considering a number of policy and regulatory changes” to carry out that order, a spokesman for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services told Quartz, “including a thorough review of employment based visa programs.”

Indians make for a large chunk of the green card applicants in the US, far exceeding the per country annual cap on the number of permanent residencies and, thus, creating a huge backlog. In fact, the procedure to get a green card can stretch upwards of 12 years for Indian applicants.

“It will have a big impact on the current workforce as there are thousands of applicants who have spent almost a decade in the US waiting for green card processing. In case they need to return back to India or their home countries, they need to start again,” Alka Dhingra, general manager for IT staffing at TeamLease Services, told Quartz. “People whose green card is in process can go back to the US once it is approved but that will take its own time and meanwhile they need to move, settle, and resettle again in terms of work and personal life both.”

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