India’s IT industry body NASSCOM on Thursday came out in support US government’s decision to provide exemptions to categories like healthcare workers and those involved in essential services while temporarily suspending certain immigration visas. However, it said IT workers should also have been counted under essential services.
In its press statement, the industry body said this would help the US in getting continued access to talent critical to the economic recovery of the country.
“It provides exemptions to certain categories including healthcare workers who are essential and critical to helping both the American people and the US economy recover during these difficult times. NASSCOM supports these objectives and believes that it is important that the US continues to access talent critical to the recovery phase,” the industry body said.
The statement further said the US required access to those working in the health care sector as well as essential technology workers. NASSCOM explained these technology workers were keeping critical infrastructure operating in the US and ensuring that US hospitals and first responders have the IT systems they need.
“These IT workers are building and maintaining the systems to help children learn remotely, helping the US industries to remain open and operating, and are playing key roles in efforts to develop treatments and a cure for the disease,” the industry body said.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday suspending immigration in the country for a period of 60 days. This step was taken in a bid to protect the jobs of US citizens who were laid off due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The executive order suspends entry of individuals on certain immigrant visas for 60 days, which may get extended by the president.
NASSCOM said the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) roadmap would be beneficial for any subsequent potential recommendation for non-immigrant and other visa categories. The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) at the DHS gave detailed examples of jobs and employees that are essential.
“We feel the priorities established by the CISA should help define the types of essential workers that any subsequent recommendations on non-immigrant visa programs should include and address,” NASSCOM said.
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