On Monday, the Trump Administration announced they are not considering any proposals that could force deportation of H 1B visa holders. Last week the U.S. President Donald Trump announced the Buy American, Hire American proposal which focused on boosting the manufacture and protection of local jobs for Americans. The Buy American, Hire American proposal will lead to mass deportation of H 1B visa holders by denying them extensions beyond the permissible period of 6 years.
The Chief of Media Relations of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS,) Jonathan Withington said, “USCIS is not considering a regulatory change that would force H 1B visa holders to leave the United States by changing our interpretation of section 104(c) of AC 21, which provides for H 1B extensions beyond the 6 year limit. Even if it were, such a change would not likely result in these H 1B visa holders having to leave the United States because employers could request extensions in one year increments under section 106(a) to (b) of AC21 instead.”
Jonathan further added, “The agency is considering a number of policy and regulatory changes to carry out the President’s Buy American, Hire American Executive Order, including a thorough review of employment based visa programs.”
If the Trump Administration had decided to move ahead with the Buy American, Hire American proposal, an estimated number of 500,000 to 750,000 Indian H 1B visa holders could have been deported. TheTrump Administration’s announcement on not considering this proposal came as a major relief to the Indian H 1B visa holders waiting for Green Cards.
Immigration Voice (IV) in a Facebook post said, “We are ECSTATIC to share this Breaking News: Immigration Voice succeeds in protecting its members and getting USCIS to change its policy regarding H 1B renewal.” They further added, “This media coverage based on the outrage created IV Advocacy on this immediate issue affecting lots of people across the country, USCIS has announced to us that it is retracting its policy to deny all H 1B visa through year 6 based on section 104. This is a GREAT development. And we thank USCIS to make the right decision.” Immigration Voice is an Advocacy group campaigning for a better deal for the H 1B visa holders.
The Buy American, Hire American proposal by the Trump Administration triggered panic through the community of H 1B visa holders from India. A large number of the H 1B visa holders are employed with a few of America’s major IT companies such as Microsoft, Facebook and Google. The Indian IT companies operating in the U.S. do not sponsor their H 1B employees for Green Card. They usually send the employees back to India at the end of the maximum stipulated period of 6 years.