Washington, March 19
Five powerful Democratic senators on Thursday urged President Joe Biden to rescind his predecessor Donald Trump's ban on some non-immigrant visas, including the H-1B visa which is popular among Indian IT professionals, saying this creates uncertainties for US employers, their foreign-born professional workers and their families.
In June 2020, Trump instituted Proclamation 10052, halting the processing of non-immigrant H-1B, L-1, H-2B, and J-1 visas, based on the alleged potential risk to the labour market.
Although Proclamation 10052 is set to expire on March 31, 2021, businesses have indicated that inaction will further harm their businesses and economic recovery.
The senators said that because the visas that Proclamation 10052 halted either target low-unemployment professions or require that the visa holder does not displace an American worker, businesses that rely on foreign workers have struggled to fill jobs despite increased unemployment.
Reports have suggested that jobs in fields such as information technology -- which H-1B visa holders would have filled -- have remained open or were moved overseas, said senators Michael Bennet, Jeanne Shaheen, Angus King, Cory Booker, and Bob Menendez.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
Technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
“The continuation of this ban creates delays and uncertainties for US employers, their foreign-born professional workers, and their families,” wrote the senators in a letter to President Biden.
“Rather than attracting talented individuals to the United States, allowing these bans to remain in effect makes the immigration system harder to navigate and drives foreign talent to other countries,” they wrote. PTI
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