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Top US lawmakers urge Donald Trump to revoke suspension of H-1B, other foreign work visas

At least three top American lawmakers insisted on the need to mend the H-1B programme instead of not ending it.

indians-abroad Updated: Jun 23, 2020 10:43 IST
Press Trust of India | Posted by Kanishka Sarkar
Press Trust of India | Posted by Kanishka Sarkar
Washington
The H-1B programme plays a crucial role in addressing shortage of health care professionals while also providing other key sectors of US economy, an Indian American Congressman said.
The H-1B programme plays a crucial role in addressing shortage of health care professionals while also providing other key sectors of US economy, an Indian American Congressman said. (Reuters File Photo)

Top American lawmakers have urged President Donald Trump to revoke the temporary suspension of H-1B and other non-immigrant visas.

“I’m deeply disappointed by President Trump’s misguided order to suspend these key work visa programmes. I urge him to reverse this decision to help ensure our health care system and broader economy are ready to combat the next phase of (coronavirus) pandemic and to create the jobs we need for our economic recovery,” Indian American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said.

The H-1B programme in particular plays a crucial role in addressing dangerous shortage of health care professionals while also providing other key sectors of our economy with talent from around the world to not only fill jobs, but create new ones, he said.

“Suspending this programme will only weaken our economy and our health care workforce at a time when the need to strengthen both is as clear as ever,” Krishnamoorthi said.

Also read: Suspension of foreign work visas to free up to 5.25 lakh jobs in US, says White House

This is not the right approach, said Senator Democratic Whip Dick Durbin and Congressmen Bill Pascrell and Ro Khanna after Trump’s decision to bar H-1B and other work visas through the end of the year.

“We need to mend the H-1B programme, not end it. Instead of suspending H-1B visas, the Trump Administration should ask Congress to pass the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2020, which reforms the H-1B program with a scalpel, not a sledgehammer,” the three top American lawmakers said. They have introduced a bipartisan legislation, which they said would protect American workers and end the abuse of the H-1B programme to outsource American jobs and exploit workers, while ensuring employers could still hire talented immigrant workers when no qualified American is available to do the job.

Congresswoman Donna E Shalala alleged that Trump is now attacking American businesses - and jeopardising the economic recovery - in service of xenophobia. “America will be poorer and less competitive because of it,” she said.

“This Executive Order is yet another example of President Trump using the coronavirus pandemic to advance a hateful and extreme anti-immigrant agenda,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “There’s no question that employers should hire out of work Americans whenever possible, but Maine businesses have said repeatedly they need H-2B, J-1, L-1 visa holders to operate and continue to reopen... This ban will make our economic recovery more difficult,” she said.

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