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US President’s H-1B suspension executive order misguided, harmful for economy: NASSCOM

IT industry body NASSCOM has urged the US administration to shorten the duration of these restrictions to 90 days.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: June 23, 2020 10:53:56 am
NASSCOM said that lengthening these burdensome restrictions on US companies that are trying to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will only serve to harm the US economy. (Representative image)

India’s IT industry body NASSCOM on Tuesday said the executive order by US President Donald Trump towards suspending the immigration and non-immigrant worker visas till the end of 2020 is misguided and harmful to the US economy.

In an official statement, the industry body urged the US administration to shorten the duration of these restrictions to 90 days.

“This new proclamation will prevent our companies and thousands of other organizations from accessing the talent they need from overseas,” the statement by NASSCOM said adding that with very few exceptions, Indian nationals and others who are granted new H-1Bs or L-1s as well as other visa types after 23rd June will not be allowed to enter the United States until the proclamation expires.

Explained| How US pause on work visas will impact Indian companies

The industry body said that lengthening these burdensome restrictions on US companies that are trying to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic will only serve to harm the US economy.

NASSCOM said that thousands of US corporations, universities, medical facilities, research institutions, directly and through their associations had asked the President not to take such action because of the harm it would do now and going forward as the US reopens and recovers its economy.

Such sentiments were also echoed by various Republican and Democratic members of Congress and governors.

NASSCOM, along with the US Chamber of Commerce, the American Medical Association, Compete America, the National Association of Manufacturers, and the Association of American Universities among others, wrote the President and his Secretaries that policies such as these undercut the ability to grow and create jobs, inhibit the provision of critical infrastructure services, and add burdensome new regulatory requirements and costs.

According to the industry body, virtually every segment of the American economy, including manufacturing, technology, accounting, medicine, among others, employ skilled workers from other countries for the innovation, productivity, and skill they bring to their companies or for their clients.

NASSCOM said that its members provide essential services to hospitals, pharmaceutical and biotech companies, state and local government agencies, financial institutions, technology and communications firms, grocers, manufacturers, and thousands of other businesses across the US. It further said that highly skilled non-immigrants are playing critical roles in the delivery of these services and the development of these services and products and without their continued contributions to the US economy, the economic pain would worsen, industries would slow, and the timeline for a treatment and cure of Covid-19 would lengthen.

The industry body also said that people who come to the US on H-1B and L-1 visas pay taxes and contribute to their communities and to local economies in other ways as well.

Separately, Google CEO Sunder Pichai too expressed disappointment over the US President Donald Trump’s executive order to temporarily suspend foreign work visas and said he would stand with immigrants and work to expand opportunity for all.

“Immigration has contributed immensely to America’s economic success, making it a global leader in tech, and also Google the company it is today,” Pichai said in a tweet after Trump issued his proclamation.

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