Assurance comes amid mounting criticism of new Trump visa ban.
By Arun Kumar
As President Donald Trump defended his suspension of H-1B and other work visas until yearend amid mounting criticism from industry and lawmakers, US immigration agency assured already valid visas will continue to be honored.
“The US will continue to honor these already valid visas,” US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said in a statement on Trump’s proclamation suspending among others H-1B and L1 visas extensively used by Indian professionals.
“Monday’s presidential proclamation temporarily restricts certain categories of visas from being issued to protect jobs for American workers while our economy recovers from the effects of covid-19,” USCIS Deputy Director for Policy Joseph Edlow stated.
“This does not affect those currently working in the US on valid H-1B or similar visas.
“The proclamation also does not prevent individuals in possession of valid visas prior to the effective date of the proclamation from entering or re-entering the country, if they have been abroad, provided they have not otherwise rendered themselves inadmissible.
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“The U.S. will continue to honor these already valid visas as we help American workers get back on their feet.”
Amid mounting criticism of his new visa ban from Indian and US industry leaders as well as lawmakers, including some from his own Republican party, Trump defended his action.
“So we want to give jobs to Americans right now. Right now we want jobs going to Americans,” he told reporters in San Luis, Arizona Tuesday when asked why the suspension on green cards was necessary.
Speaking after the commemoration of the 200th mile of a new border wall, he also assured some 700,000 dreamers, or undocumented immigrants, including about 4,500 South Asians who came to the US as children that “Good things are going to happen.”
“Put your chin up. Good things are going to happen,” he said even as he reaffirmed plans to make fresh bid to end the Obama era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA after it was upheld by the Supreme Court last week.
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Asked why he was determined to end DACA at a time the country was faced with unemployment and the covid crisis, he said, “Well, we’re looking at it. We’ll work it out with DACA.”
“I think good things are happening with DACA,” Trump said. “They resubmit, but we’ll work it out.”
Accusing rival Democrats of “playing with DACA for years, and they haven’t done anything,” he said, “I’ll get it done. I’ll get it done.”
“And we’ll — good things will happen for DACA recipients, and pretty soon,” Trump said with a message for Dreamers: Put your chin up. Good things are going to happen. You’ll watch.”
Meanwhile, more organizations have criticized Trump’s new visa ban with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) saying it will harm employers, families, universities, hospitals, communities, and delay America’s economic recovery from covid crisis.
“Being able to draw on the best and brightest from around the world has always been an incredible advantage for America,” AILA President Jennifer Minear said. “This presidential proclamation ignores this reality and will make emerging from this crisis more difficult and expensive.”
“The ban is a threat to our American tradition of immigration. We must stand united in opposition to the president’s latest action to advance his well-documented anti-immigration agenda,” said Beth Werlin, executive director of the American Immigration Council.
NASSCOM: Curbs on H-1B, other work visas ‘harmful’ to US economy (June 23, 2020)