News By/Courtesy: Gunjan Dayal | 28 Jun 2020 22:50pm IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, among the groups looking to challenge the order.
  • Fear of deportation.
  • American dream is on hold.

In early March, Hema (name changed on request) flew down from New Jersey to Chennai because her mother, a senior citizen, had a medical emergency and no one was there to help. India suspended international flight operations later that month to prevent the Covid-19 pandemic from spreading. Yet Hema, 43, who had an H4 based visa as her husband is an H1B visa IT specialist, wasn't concerned. According to the normal procedure, she realized she could join her husband and teenage daughter in New Jersey after having the visa stamped at the US consulate in Chennai. So, she wanted to enjoy her mother's forced to stay in India. Yet her nightmare began early this week when US President Donald Trump revoked temporary work permits, including the H1B and H4 visas, until the end of this year. Now Hema will not see her husband and daughter for the remainder of this year. Trump's order bars hundreds of thousands of people in the United States from becoming employed or joining work-study programs. This prohibits American businesses from hiring skilled immigrants and blocks the entrance into the country of spouses of foreigners working in the US. "Many U.S. families will encounter tremendous stress because there will be a long pause in having parents, kids, and relatives to join them," says Netra Chavan, a Silicon Valley immigration consultant who runs an H1B and H4 visa group web website. “Many of these have been waiting for their green cards for several years. Indian-born children in such families already face the worry of aging out while their parents wait for their green cards. There is a fear of deportation. This executive order will create more uncertainty in their lives.” Because of international travel restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic, around 1,000 members in the group have already shared their concerns about being stranded outside the US. All of them were waiting for visa stamps on their passports. But now they can't fly to the US and join their families. Some, including Hema, has also expressed fears about losing their jobs due to America's long forced absence. Trump might even extend the ban as the debate around immigration and employment gets louder in an election year in the US. “This means that many family members will be needlessly separated,” says Jennifer A Minear, president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, among the groups looking to challenge the order. “There will be legal challenges because there are certain grey areas,” says Prashant Dubey, an immigration attorney based in Washington DC. Many immigration lawyers and analysts around the US have shared their fears about the effect that the termination of H1B and L1 visas would have for several years on the families of immigrants living and working in America. “There are several unfortunate people who traveled outside the US before the lockdown to apply for a new H1B visa so that they can return to join their jobs,” says New York-based immigration attorney Cyrus Mehta. “But they got stuck because flights were disrupted and consulates were either shut or not issuing visas because of the pandemic. Now they cannot return to the US anytime soon. They can only hope their employers will retain them and keep their green card petitions in the queue.” Highlighting Indian families' immense personal and professional struggles trapped in long queues for a green card or permanent residency, Dubey says the issue of being separated from family members is exacerbated when there is a threat to employment, finance, or health. "Because of Covid-19, a large number of people working or living in the U.S. are stuck in India. They will not be able to return until the end of this year. It would extend their isolation from family members and also make it much more difficult for them to keep their jobs in the U.S.," he said. "Almost 70% of the total 65,000 H1Bs are given to Indians. Multiple lawsuits are likely to be filed as several US employers depend on high-skilled H1B workers, especially in healthcare and technology," says Anil Gupta, a software engineer in California who runs a visa-related website, AM22Tech. He has been stuck in a green card queue for over eight years. Another cause for concern is the long-term implications of the executive order. If this were politically motivated, it may have significant implications as a second-term Trump presidency that is not binding on anybody will slow down immigration and naturalization. This is probably true for H1B, which remains a politically charged visa category on both ends of the political spectrum, says Nish Acharya, CEO of Equal Innovation, a Boston consultancy advising businesses and governments. He expects immigration reform to be a big topic in 2021. "But what happens will depend on the results of the Senate and presidential election later this year." Till then, the American dream is on hold.

THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO HURT THE SENTIMENTS OF ANY INDIVIDUAL, COMMUNITY, SECT, OR RELIGION ETCETERA. THIS ARTICLE IS BASED PURELY ON THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL VIEWS AND OPINIONS IN THE EXERCISE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT GUARANTEED UNDER ARTICLE 19(1)(A) AND OTHER RELATED LAWS BEING FORCE IN INDIA, FOR THE TIME BEING.

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 28 Jun 2020 23:02pm IST


Tags : #NewPolicyByTrumpIssueForManyPeople

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