If Indians idea Trump might be special just due to the fact he showed up at a music-and-dance Hindu rally, they’ve most effective themselves in charge.
“I am a large fan of Hindu, and I am a huge fan of India. Big, massive fan.”
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Thus spake Donald Trump as he lapped up the adulation being dished out by way of the Republican Hindu Coalition and its head Shalabh Kumar, the person who gave the Trump campaign $1.1 million bucks.
Now the shit is hitting the massive big fan. Trump has paid again his No.1 desi friend handsomely. The Department of Homeland Security is mulling an offer to tweak their H-1B regulations that would force around five lakh Indians, generally techies, to come back again to the motherland.
H-1B employees can typically report for an extension even as looking forward to their green playing cards to be approved. No greater says this proposal. Under Donald Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ initiative, the H-1B visa-holder will exit the United States and look forward to that permanent residency card if their application continues to be pending on the give up of six years on an H-1B. That wait is already more than a decade-long at this level.
The H-1B limbo hell should get an entire lot hotter if this goes via.
Naturally, this is inflicting tons heartburn on Delhi. The Indian authorities have said it’s far tracking the reviews cautiously, “It is certainly one of our high-priority regions of engagement with our interlocutors in the US. We are operating with the stakeholders inside the US Congress in addition to the US administration in this difficulty.”
But if Indians notion Trump might be one-of-a-kind simply because he showed up at a song-and-dance rally organized via the Republican Hindu Coalition, they’ve most effective themselves accountable. This is a case of Trump being totally consistent with an alternate.
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Shalabh Kumar had promised Trump will be the “maximum pro-India President for the reason that start of America”. But during his campaign, he ranted approximately Hillary Clinton, as the champion of outsourcing, about American jobs for American workers. He stated, “The H-1B application is neither high-professional nor immigration: these are brief foreign people, imported from abroad, for the express motive of substituting for American employees at lower pay… I will quit all the time using the H-1B as a cheap exertions program, and institute an absolute requirement to rent American employees for every visa and immigration software. No exceptions.”
Indians have often notion they have been the exception, the model minority with their college stages and spelling bees. When Trump talked about booting out the ‘assassin and rapist’ Mexicans and ‘terrorist’ Muslims, many Indians in America nodded approvingly. Now as he turns on the H-1B employees, they must accept that Indians also are just brown in Trump’s America, no longer some browner coloration of light.
Trump has applauded the ‘accurate immigrant’ saying that generations of “Indians and Hindu Americans have bolstered our country” with their “values of tough paintings, education, and employer”. But his idea of being American has in no way genuinely included them through their $1.1million cheques have been always welcome. Trump, it turns out, is a huge fan of India. Indians on H-1B, not a lot.
These new coverage recommendations, whether they turn out to be true or no longer, have been inevitable. As a person who went through the H-1B slog, I should see that the welcome mat turned into very, in reality, being rolled lower back through the years. Trump had already overturned Obama-generation guidelines that allowed spouses of H-1B visa-holders to paintings inside the US. The H-1B gadget changed into choked and its visa cap exhausted nearly immediately. H-1B had long become characterized as a Made in India/China Trojan horse sneaking into the American Dream.
When I lived in Silicon Valley, the comic story went that Sunnyvale had certainly become Surya Nagari because of all of the H-1B techies flooding its condominium complexes, their parking spots packed with such a lot of secure and trusty Honda Accords that it became nicknamed the ‘Hindu Accord’. The strip shops smelled of dosas and biryani, the Indian film theater confirmed cricket suits live late at night time, and Silicon Valley places of work sounded greater like Hyderabad than Santa Clara. As Bharati Mukherjee wrote in her e-book The Tree Bride, in the voice of her heroine Tara, “During the two decades I’ve been in California, an immigrant fog of South Asians has crept into America.” And she questioned who would be its chronicler – a “twenty-first century Fitzgerald to make it come alive. The Great Gupta, possibly.”
That American story could not be chronicled without the H-1B, however, creator Amitava Kumar once wondered where the Indian cyber techie exists in the creativeness of the West. Many noticed the India coins-and-convey markets and Tandoori ‘palaces’ popping up in strip department shops all over Silicon Valley, however the drearier aspect of the H-1B tale turned into frequently left untold—the lower wages, the insecure jobs, the lack of benefits, the limbo of awaiting that coveted green card, and the humiliations of being benched while business became gradual. We speak about the Sundar Pichai’s and Satya Nadellas because the version poster children of H-1B however not approximately, what an article inside the magazine Little India, called the ways extra numerous Oracle Raos with a long way much less cash and far much less clout, “employed on contract and moved at the whimsy of the customer’s capital”.
Trump’s inspiration makes it clear that to America the H-1B is set databases and operating systems and coding languages, not approximately humans who’ve installation lives with families in American suburbia, whose kids go to high school, lives that can’t be uprooted at a moment’s observe and sent packing just because the bureaucratic process is backlogged.
Yet possibly Trump is ultimately doing India a favor. As America rolls up its welcome mat, Mexico’s ambassador to India said his united states of America could be more than happy to welcome them.
But why have to it be Mexico? Why no longer India itself? If Acche Din has simply arrived, 70 years after Independence, the following Sundar Pichai’s and Satya Nadellas should not have to come to be the poster boys of someone else’s H-1B tale. They have to be poster boys of the India Story proper here at home. Perhaps Trump’s policies should kickstart what Indian governments (and Indian mothers) couldn’t – reversing the mind drain.
September 18, 2019 By Shirley D. McCormick
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