Hindu Americans Celebrate as Trump Reverses Course on H1B Visa Changes

Washington, DC (January 9, 2018) — Leaders of the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) cautiously welcomed the news that the Trump Administration was backtracking from its proposal to deny extensions of H-1B visas to green card applicants awaiting approval. If implemented this policy change would have triggered the deportation of more than a half million Indian IT workers currently holding H-1B visas.

“We’re grateful for the swift response by Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Kevin Yoder (R-KS) in expressing to the Administration the detrimental impact the proposed changes would have on the American economy and credibility, US-India relations, and families of skilled workers,” said Suhag Shukla, Esq., HAF Executive Director and Legal Counsel. “That the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has clarified that it will not be considering any regulatory changes or their interpretation of current law that would force H-1B workers to leave the US is a welcome relief for hundreds of thousands in our community.”

Numerous industry and community groups across the country sounded alarms at the hint of the proposal, citing potential negative effects for the US economy. HAF began immediately advocating to members of Congress to ensure they voiced concern with the Administration.

The proposal would have directly impacted over a quarter of the Indian and Hindu American population in the United States.

“The results would’ve been devastating,” Shukla noted. “Devastating to these law abiding, tax paying workers and their families who have made America their home. Devastating to the local and state economies where they work. And devastating for America by causing an unprecedented brain drain of skilled workers and potential entrepreneurs.”

Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi issued the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s decision not to end H-1B visa extensions:

“When a proposal to terminate H-1B extensions arose from within the Trump Administration, my office and others opposed the proposal because it would hurt American businesses, American workers and the American economy, as well as tear apart families. In short, that proposal was un-American. I am glad that the Trump Administration listened to us and others, and I welcome the decision by the US Citizenship and Immigration Service to allow H-1B visa holders to continue to apply for visa extensions while awaiting their green cards. While we must continue to invest in developing the skills of our domestic workforce, this decision avoids hurting American businesses and workers, while keeping families together in the process.”