H1B visa: Senator allays immigration fears, says US has checks & balances

By: | Updated: April 3, 2017 9:57 PM

In February, the US appeals court denied the justice department's request for an immediate reinstatement of Trump's controversial travel ban, which bars citizens of seven Muslim -majority countries from entering the US.

Seeking to assuage India’s fears on President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, a Republican Senator today said the US has checks and balances in place. (Reuters)

Seeking to assuage India’s fears on President Donald Trump’s immigration policy, a Republican Senator today said the US has checks and balances in place and the recent court order quashing the White House’s travel ban is testimony to it. In February, the US appeals court denied the justice department’s request for an immediate reinstatement of Trump’s controversial travel ban, which bars citizens of seven Muslim -majority countries from entering the US.

“The court rejected it (the order) soundly. I find it a message to someone like me that Congress wasn’t engaged at all. To me, he (Trump) did not think all of his Republican colleagues would support something like that…We do have checks and balances,” said Pamela Althoff, Republican Senator from Illinois, when asked about India’s concerns on Trump’s visa and immigration policies, especially the H1B visa issue.

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Althoff said the president has to listen to diverse voices in his administration and people’s representatives and not all in the Republican Party may support his decisions, considering the diverse ideological views within the party. “When you govern, you have to work with people who have different opinions, whether they are large differences or small,” she said at a public interaction at the American Center here.

Raj Mukherji, a Democratic Assemblyman in the New Jersey State Legislature, was critical of Trump’s policies, especially on administrative issues. He said there is a misconception that all jobs are lost to outsourcing and to immigrants. “A tenth of the jobs were lost to overseas. You can attribute it to technology and automation. Blaming it on immigrants, creating this fear of other sometimes is easier to do. But that isn’t the reality,” Mukherji said, adding that Trump should verify the facts. On India’s apprehensions on Trump’s visa and immigration policies, Mukherji said India has already conveyed its concern to the US.

“The good news is President Trump has good relations with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the PM has spoken out on this point. “I am hopeful that as he (Trump) progresses in his term, the President will listen to sound economic data and to leaders in academica, in commerce and will revisit his position,” he said.

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