Democrat Lawmakers Speak Out Against Proposed H-1B Visa Changes

Indian-origin lawmakers and advocacy groups criticize Trump administration’s reported proposals to make changes in H-1B visa extension rules.


United States President Donald Trump’s reported plan to tweak H-1B visa extension rules, which could deport 500,000-750,000 Indians, has been criticized by some U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups. The proposal is in line with Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative.

The Department of Homeland Security is said to be working on a proposal to stop H-1B visa extensions that allow skilled workers whose green card applications are pending to stay beyond their three-year visa extension while the application is under process.

Democrat lawmaker Tulsi Gabbard slamming the proposed move, PTI reported. “Imposing these draconian restrictions on H-1B visa holders will tear families apart, drain our society of talent and expertise, and damage our relationship with an important partner, India. This proposal could lead to the deportation of an estimated 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H-1B visa holders, many of whom are small business owners and job creators who are helping to build and strengthen our US economy. This brain drain will stifle innovation and decrease our ability to compete in the global 21st century economy,” she said.

Raja Krishnamoorthi, the U.S. Representative for Illinois’s 8th congressional district, said that the proposal would take jobs away from the United States. “I hope the administration immediately rejects this proposal,” he said, the report added.

Congressman Ro Khanna, the U.S. Representative for California’s 17th congressional district, criticized the Trump administration’s plan in a tweet saying, “My parents came here on green cards. So did @sundarpichai, @elonmusk, @satyanadella. Trump is saying to immigrants and their kids we don’t have a place in America. It’s not just wrong. It’s dumb. Mr President, would America really be greater without us?”

Meanwhile, the United States and India have maintained that their relationship is at its best and that this is the “golden era” of bilateral relations between the two countries.

An advocacy group, The Hindu American Foundation, also expressed alarm at the new proposed move, saying, “How would deporting hundreds of thousands of skilled workers, the very backbone of our STEM industries, in any way advance an ‘America First’ agenda?”

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