Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal recommends legislative system for H-1B visa changes

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Jayapal is one among the five Indian American congress members.

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Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, who is currently accompanying a congressional delegation visiting India said the Trump administration should use legislative system to make changes in the H-1B visa system, rather than imposing it through presidential executive orders.

The congressional delegation, headed by Leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said that there is bipartisan support for continuing with the existing H-1B visa program “perhaps with some changes.”

Speaking to IANS, Jayapal said that India will continue to be a priority for the Trump administration, like the country was for its predecessors. She also highlighted the US disagreements with China and Russia.

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Jayapal, who is one among the five Indian American members of Congress, said that the H-1B program is important for the US economy.

“You can’t just stop processing when people have been waiting in line for three years to get those H-1Bs and then put a barrier there and then say you are not going to get these…,” Jayapal told IANS.

“There has to be a thoughtful roll-out to any changes we might want to make to the H1-B program and really it should come from Congressional authority, not from the President’s executive orders,” she added.

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Jayapal’s comment comes at a time when Trump introduced the “Buy American, Hire American” executive order that aims to end the H-1B visa abuse and make a shift from the existing lottery-based selection to a merit-based system that gives more opportunity to skilled immigrants.

Chennai-born Jayapal, who herself was on H-1B once, is on the immigration committee chaired by the Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner, who is also a part of the visiting delegation.

Jayapal also shared her thoughts on the appointment of US Ambassador to India saying that she hopes the Trump administration will appoint an excellent candidate to the post soon.

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The US delegation, led by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, also has Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Eliot Engel, Jim McGovern, Betty McCollum, Judy Chu and Joyce Beatty, all Democrats.

The eight-member delegation had met spiritual leader of the Tibetans in exile Dalai Lama on Wednesday; and on Thursday, they visited Prime Minister Narendra Modi.