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Gandhinagar: New Jersey Governor in town, talks immigration, visa issue with IIT students

Answering questions raised by the students about the United States of America's recent anti-immigration stance, Governor Murphy, who is a Democrat, said, "I am not a big fan of my President and his immigration policies."

By: Express News Service | Gandhinagar |
Updated: September 22, 2019 4:07:58 am
Gandhinagar: New Jersey Governor in town, talks immigration, visa issue with IIT students Chief Minister Vijay Rupani with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy in Gandhinagar on Saturday. The state of New Jersey in the United States has a large Gujarati diaspora. (Express)

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, who is on a seven-day six-city visit to India, interacted with students of Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar at its Town Hall on Saturday. He also met Chief Minister Vijay Rupani.

Answering questions raised by the students about the United States of America’s recent anti-immigration stance, Governor Murphy, who is a Democrat, said, “I am not a big fan of my President and his immigration policies.”

New Jersey has a large number of immigrants from Gujarat.

“He (US President Donald Trump) has taken on those who desperately need to be in the United States, people who seek asylum, who have no other place to go, who are staying due to religious prosecution or violence. At the same time, he is throwing the talent out of the spectrum. But unfortunately I do not think that will change once we get a new President,” Murphy replied when asked about the H-1B and H-4 visa crackdown and how it would affect Indians aspiring to pursue higher education or jobs there.

Asked about delays and rejection of visas, Murphy said, “When particularly the economy in a country is weak, you have an enormous amount of pressure to recover that with your own workers. It is not just applicable for the United States, but others as well. That impacts how you think about visas too.” However, speaking about a smart visa system that balances job opportunities between expatriates and locals, he said, “We spoke to so many companies that have a huge presence in New Jersey and how they carefully balance when it comes to hiring locals and expatriates. During this seven-day visit, we have been meeting governments at both levels — federal and state — and looking at creating jobs in New Jersey in pharma, telecom, technology and manufacturing sectors,” he said at IIT-Gandhinagar.

On the US-India trade impasse, Murphy advocated a constructive, steady, predictable trade relationship. ‘I leave India with optimism that India and US will come to a good place… I am saying that as a personal observation and not on behalf of the government. Free trade is always a good thing, but each country has its own national interest and that has to be respected.

MoUs signed

IIT Gandhinagar signed MoUs (Memoranda of Understanding) with four New Jersey public universities — New Jersey Institute of Technology, New Jersey City University, Rutgers University and Rowan University — in the presence of IIT Director Sudhir Jain and Governor Phil Murphy.

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