NASSCOM urged the US administration to shorten the suspension to 90 days, as opposed to till the end of the year.

NASSCOM slams Trumps H-1B visa suspension says its misguided and harmful
Atom H-1B Tuesday, June 23, 2020 - 15:57

The National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), a trade association of Indian IT and BPO industries, called the executive order signed by US President Donald Trump to suspend certain non-immigrant visas for the rest of the year as “misguided” and “harmful to the US economy”.

The US suspended foreign work visas till the end of the year, including the H-1B, the L-1 and J. Indians are the largest group of recipients of the H-1B, and the move will impact many 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 calendar 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.

NASSCOM urged the US administration to shorten the suspension to 90 days, as opposed to till the end of the year, and said that lengthening these restrictions on companies trying to recover from the economic fallout will only harm the economy.  

A statement by NASSCOM says US corporations, universities, medical facilities, research institutions and their associations, as well as members of the US Congress and Governors, conveyed that the move would do more harm than good as the country reopens. 

“Coming on the heels of the problems created by the coronavirus crisis and the USCIS and DOS office closures that have delayed the processing of visas and made it difficult, if not, impossible at times to travel to or from the United States, this new proclamation will prevent our companies and thousands of other organizations from accessing the talent they need from overseas,” the statement said.

The body added that though their companies have hired tens of thousands of Americans and invested billions of dollars, this proclamation imposes new challenges and “possibly force more work to be performed offshore since the local talent is not available.”

NASSCOM said that while it may be that American workers are facing greater challenges than they have in many years, it does not mean that a shortage of talent is not there. 

“Despite national unemployment trends across the economy, the National Foundation for American Progress found that the unemployment rate for computer professionals actually went down from 3% in January 2020 to 2.8% in April 2020, according to its analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Population Survey,” it said. 

NASSCOM said that skilled workers from other countries (recipients of the H-1B visa) are employed in almost every segment of the American economy including manufacturing, technology, accounting and medicine for the innovation, productivity, and skill they bring to their companies or for their clients. 

In addition, it said that its members provide essential services to hospitals, pharma and biotech companies, state and local government agencies, financial institutions, technology and communications firms, grocers, manufacturers, and thousands of other businesses across the USA.

These people play a critical role in the delivery services, and their development, it said. 

“Without their continued contributions to the U.S. economy, the economic pain would worsen, industry would slow, and the timeline for a treatment and cure of Covid-19 would lengthen.  Moreover, the people who come to the United States on H-1B and L-1 visas pay taxes and contribute to their communities and to local economies in myriad other ways as well,” NASSCOM said. 

Countering the perception that immigrants take away local jobs, NASSCOM said that study after study from many organisations “reveal the immeasurable value non-immigrants have and will bring to America.”

The said that they hope the US administration rethink plans it has stated regarding more regulatory changes for additional visa restrictions “while doing little more than amplifying the harm already being done to the U.S. economy.”

“In this time of Covid-19 crisis and recovery, the Administration’s policies that impact American businesses should follow the oath taken by healthcare professionals: first do no harm,” the statement concluded.


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