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A late-night tweet by US President Donald Trump on Monday that he will sign a policymaking order to momentarily suspend immigration in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and to protect American jobs, has shocked Indian IT companies and technology professionals.

Trump said that pausing immigration would put “unemployed Americans first in line for jobs” as the country re-opened. “It would be wrong and unjust for Americans laid off by the virus to be replaced with new immigrant labor flown in from abroad. We must first take care of the American worker,” he told reporters at the White House.

It is very stiff to say as we do not have the details. The executive order has not been dispensed. However, going by the understanding of the earlier travel ban executive order, people with permanent residence status or green cards who are outside the US should be able to come back in. It would be unlawful to block their entry into the US.

The executive order will be most prospective to impact Indians who are not green card holders and are yet to receive either a non-immigrant visa or an immigrant visa at the US consulates and embassy in India. People already in the US on a non-immigrant status will likely not be wedged unless they travel abroad and may also be able to prolong and change status while in the US.

As the country begins to open up its economy, immigration flows are expected to increase, and the administration wanted to ensure that their own people gets the maximum advantage compared to the immigrants.

 


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Joydev Mishra

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