US President Donald J Trump passed an order to ban immigrants from 7 countries, 7 Muslim-dominated countries; Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and Sudan for 90 days. And while it shouldn’t have been shocking considering the evident religious bigot that the Republican is, it still threw 12% of the world’s entire population under the bus. Trump gave the narrative of 9/11, while none of the countries the 19 terrorists involved in the hijack belonged to were seen on the list. Following the event, news reports went viral showing that Trump signed a new executive order to prevent work-visa programmes, which include the H1B and L1 visas, used by Indians IT officials working in the states. This appears to be another straw in the larger scheme of immigration reform efforts. The Silicon Valley, however, denounced the order of the Muslim ban and offered protection to the employees who form the spine of the IT industry of the USA. And while these companies can do so for a while, it must be remembered that this only the 2nd week and there are still 4 more years of the administration to go and hence, financial protection cannot be provided indefinitely.
The rhetoric given by Trump administration about lost American jobs will also trigger commercial issues resulting in a full-scale trade war amid the global markets. As labour and capital quit American shores, the more they try to protect their jobs, the more it will affect the rest of the world. And this has scared the Indian community working in the US. Donald Trump’s word in the White House will remain unpredictable throughout his tenure but there is one thing Trump had made very clear during his campaign, which has been evident in his post-inaugural speeches, which anyway are a revamped version of his campaign- America First. Earlier today, K.Thakker, a H1B visa holder from New York said, “Many Indians come to US for degrees, they’ll be affected. Raises question if it is worth studying in US?”
Meanwhile, Shalabh ‘Shalli’, Kumar and head of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told reporters that the Trump administration had no plans to pass an executive order on H-1B visas. “There will be a need of more H-1B visas. The number of people on H-1B from India is certainly going to increase”, he added. And while, the words of a Trump supporter are difficult to believe, it must be understood that for the American economy to grow, IT would have to play an important role.
Besides, even if we consider the possibility that Trump’s actions lead to a decline in the employment of Indian IT recruitments in the US, it might turn out to be a boon for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet projects such as ‘Make In India’ among others. IT industry, initially the Indian companies will be pressurised to hire Indian talent, but eventually, it will help in overall growth. Additionally, Make in Inda and Buy American can work together too, which can only improve bilateral trade between the nations. Although, it won’t is a far cry to say that India has an upper hand than most other countries when it comes to relations with Trump, not only because to the words of praise between our Prime Ministers but also because of the fact that the US considers India as a natural counterbalance to China.