Now, Trump administration targets spouses of H-1B visa holders

Going by the policies of Donald Trump, his administration looks to be on the mission of getting rid of not just the illegal immigrants but also those who have permission to work legally in the US.

Even as the uncertainty over the H1-B visa persists, there could be more bad news waiting for Indians working in America as the Trump administration now seeks a 60-day freeze on employment authorisation for H-4 visa-holders that allows spouses of H-1B visa-holders to work in the US. With this those who are on H-4ED work permit existing jobs, many businesses anxious. After the dawn of a new administration under Donald trump, the group tabled a brief in January 2017 in Washington DC court.

Immigration Voice yesterday announced to intervene in the case for thousands of H4 visa-holders, saying this was the "only option" to protect the rights of its members and their families, including children who are United States citizens. But the court soon dismissed it for lack of any substantial proof of the damage caused to them by the H-1B visa holders. In another case, Anuj Dhamija, related how he had been legally working in the USA since 2010 as a project manager for a reputed Fortune 100 company. Due to decades long wait to get our green card, I made a switch to the H4 EAD program as it was the only option for me to pursue my business ventures in the interim. In this programme, he was able to keep his existing job and also start his own small high-end luxurious home remodelling business.

NASSCOM believes that this reform measure of not granting work permits to spouses of H1-B visa holders, if brought into practice, will hurt the spirit of millions of IT professionals working in different IT companies based across the US.

"Immigration Voice decided that intervention in the Save Jobs lawsuit was the only option to protect the rights of our members and their families, including children who are USA citizens", the organization said. "There is nothing for the Department of Justice attorneys to confer with their leadership about, given the district court's clear decision stating that this case had no basis for ever being filed", Aman Kapoor, co-founder and president of the NGO, said. With H4 EAD visa being taken away, a lot of those visa holders will have to let go of their businesses.

  • Carolyn Briggs