Obama New Immigration Policy Helps Indians

The engine of growth for the Indian economy has been the lakhs of Indians

“ techies” and millions of Indian workers in the Gulf and Middle East . It is their hard earned foreign exchange that keeps the Indian economy going. The big words of Indian big  business  are really peripheral to foreign exchange earnings. India earned  nearly  US $  70 Billion in foreign exchange in 2013-14 from remittances  made by Indians  working abroad.

Pullarao PentapatiThere are said to nearly 3 lakh Indian Techies in the USA and Europe who earn high salaries and who remit  those amounts to India. Under the present  Immigration law of the USA, these Indian  techies are really work-slaves. They cannot switch companies for  a better paying job. Their spouses cannot work. There are a host of restrictions on them.

In the initial years of President  Obama’s government, he was  very hostile to India. In many speeches, he  cited India as an example who took away American jobs. He made many  negative references  to the intense educational efforts of Indians. In the last 6 years, president  Barack Obama has shown scant  regard for Indian sensitivities. On any possible occasion, President  Barack Obama  made snide remarks about India and its hard-working people and how they are  obsessed with education.

In fact,  Obama  took special  delight in making the term “ Bangalored”   popular  , implying that an American has lost his job to someone in Bangalore. These witty remarks created a very hostile atmosphere for Indians  and Indian software  companies.  A number of Indian software companies  were  penalized or even faced severe legal action. The fact that the American President was attacking Indians and their skills emboldened the  US Embassy  in India  to refuse visas to thousands of  Indians  who were  working in USA and returned  for a holiday or some emergency at home.

The  US Embassy and  US Government un-fortunately show little sensitivity to Indians . The  other  anomaly was that spouses of Indians who were working in the  USA on B-1 Visas  ( work visas of a temporary nature extending upto 5 years,etc )could not work and hence they were sitting idle in the  USA.

President   Obama’s new  Immigration policy :

The  harsh defeat that  President Obama’s democratic suffered in the recent bi-annual elections to the US Senate and  US Congress   has  made him try a new course. The fact that the  Latins ( Spanish –speaking people in the USA )  staying in the USA have voted for him and they are  unhappy that he has  not brought about a  new Immigration policy is  one consideration .  It is a fact that for the last two years  Obama has been  trying for a compromise with the   Republican party for a new Immigration policy. But that was never allowed to happen.

Now both the  US Senate and the US House of Representatives ( Parliament ) are controlled by the republican party. This means that Obama  can never get any legislation or policy through in its original shape . There is only one alternative and that is an executive order.  So Obama is changing immigration policy through a Presidential Order.

This  expected order will greatly help the Indian community living in the USA and also those Indians working on Temporary work visas, since their spouses can also work.  This will enhance their incomes.

It is also expected that a huge number of Indians are staying in the USA illegally. They will also be regularized . Then there is the  STEM category of foreigners.  This category  applies  to those students , who graduated in US universities in Science, Mathematics  and sciences. They will have a  longer period to work in the USA after their graduation.

To summarize,  the proposed  new Immigration policy of Obama is a   windfall for India and Indians.  It is really a long journey for  Obama, who started  as a President who was  a  Protectionist-President to one who is changing the fate of Immigrants.

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