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‘Trump not planning any executive order on H-1B visas’

PTI | Washington |

The Trump administration has no plans to come out with an executive order on H-1B visas, a prominent Indian-American donor and supporter of the US President claimed on Thursday, contradicting media reports that have generated anxiety in India.

"There will be a need of more H-1B visas. The number of people on H-1B from India is certainly going to increase," Chicago-based Shalabh 'Shalli', Kumar and head of the Republican Hindu Coalition, told reporters at a news conference.

Responding to a volley of questions, Kumar claimed that contrary to the reports in the media, there is no executive order being worked upon by the White House on H-1B visa.

For the American economy to grow, IT would have to play an important role.

"As such I visualise need of more IT workers in the US," he said, adding that the US has huge shortage of IT workers which can be filled up only by Indian IT professionals.

Of the view that the Trump Administration would be working to ensure that there is no fraud and abuse of H-1B visas, Kumar said he believes that the White House would work to eliminate country-quota towards allocation of green cards for legal permanent residents.

"This would be of great help Indian IT professionals," he said, adding that the current wait time for Indians to get a green card could be as many as 35 years.

According to reports, President Donald Trump may soon crack down on US temporary work visas including the H-1B and L-1 visas that are used widely by Indian tech companies.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US firms to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year.

During his campaign, Trump had promised to increase oversight of our H-1B and L-1 visa programmes.

Supporting the executive orders of Trump on immigration and visa ban, Kumar said he would prefer this to be expanded to other countries like Pakistan.

Kumar said the US Government is currently reviewing the list of countries, and if Pakistan does not start co-operating with the US, there is very high probability of it being included in the list of visa ban countries.

Pakistan needs to act against terrorism.

"There cannot be any difference between what it says and what it does. Trump would not tolerate that," he said.

In response to a question, he did not altogether rule out the possibility of him becoming the next US Ambassador to India.