H 1B Visa among other Trump orders will unsettle American economy, says Suman Raghunathan, executive director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT)

| Updated: Feb 02, 2017 14:15 IST

By Nupur Mathur New York [USA], Feb. 2 (ANI): A senior American civil rights official focusing on South Asia has today warned that President Donald Trump's expected executive order to curtail or restrict the issue of H 1B work visa to foreigners wanting to work and settle in America, among other orders, will unsettle the American Economy. Suman Raghunathan of the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national, non-partisan, non-profit organisation that elevates the voices and perspectives of South Asian individuals and organisations to build a more just and inclusive society in the United States said that President Donald Trump's expected executive order to restrict the issue of H 1B work visa to foreigners wanting to work and settle in America will cause significant disruption to the U.S Economy and workforce. Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director, SAALT, told ANI in an exclusive interview, that putting a restriction on any visa category of the skill spectrum will do nothing to bring jobs back to the U.S. and do little to continue to expand the economy and will continue to take the nation back. "SAALT has been on record for quite some time in our belief that we need to expand our labour flow at both ends of the skill spectrum as that's critical. America needs individuals who are able to come to the United States and work across the skill spectrum and across the education spectrum," Raghunathan told ANI, adding that these individuals contribute to the growth engine of the United States. "India in particular and south Asia in general accounts for the largest number of highly skilled workers including the H1B visa program as well as the H4 Visa program which is the visa that is granted to the spouses of H1B workers," she said. She said that such immigration actually generates huge amounts of economic activity in the U.S. Raghunathan further said that the executive order regarding the Muslim ban hase already had a destructive and divisive impact on communities while pointing that that none of nations that have been included in the Muslim ban are responsible for any of the terrorist activities that the Trump administration has referred to as justification for passing the executive order. "I'd also point to the reality that there have been a raft of shootings and murders in the U.S. that have been perpetrated by White Supremacists that the Trump administration hasn't even mentioned in its quest supposedly to keep us all safe," Raghunathan told ANI. She warned that the consequences of such a ban can be assessed from the violence and hate crime that has erupted following the orders. Vichal Kumar, president of South Asian Bar Association (SABA) of North America, an association representing South Asian legal professionals in the U.S., shared the same view. "There has already been a backlash in the Silicon Valley as to how these executive orders are going to impact their ability to get the most talented brightest and dedicated workers into their staff, So, the implications could be far reaching," Kumar told ANI. He, however, said that for the time being we will have to take a wait and see approach would have to be adopted to truly understand the consequences of such a decision. He said that with such a decision the new administration is seeking to limit legal immigration and seeking to limit people that have brought wealth to this country in the fact that they bring divergent thoughts and opinions into the country. Commenting about the implications of the ban on South Asians aspiring to travel or live in the U.S., Kumar said, "The implications are pretty broad ranging. Fear has been created by these executive orders, they are vague they are ambiguous and seems that they did that on purpose to confuse communities. So even if South Asians aren't directly impacted by the Muslim ban for the countries listed right now, just the hysteria that it has created is causing lots of fear and panic in our communities". (ANI)
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