NEW DELHI: In the latest move to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, US President Donald announced on Monday night that he will sign an executive order to “temporarily suspend” immigration into his country.
“In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States,” Trump said in a tweet.
Trump has already imposed travel restrictions on China, Europe, Canada and Mexico, while the US State Department last month temporarily suspended routine visa services at embassies and consulates. The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has already suspended routine in-person services, but is still offering some emergency services.
In terms of India, the 2010 US Census estimated that around 28 lakh Indians to be residing in the US. The figure grew from 16 lakh in the previous census. According to the migration policy, which keeps a track of Indians in America, the US is the third most preferred country for Indian migrants after the UAE and Pakistan.
H1-B visas are another aspect where Indians make up a large proportion. In 2016, Indians made up the highest recipients of the category of visa and had the second-largest international student community in the country.
“There is a crisis, but to ban immigrant is against international laws. Also, it does not set a good precedent. There are travel bans across the world right now and there would be no immigrants coming into the US anyway. To ban immigrants is a wrong thing to do,” a professor of international relations at the JNU and an expert on American studies said.
He was of the opinion that Indians and immigrants are a key factor which contributes highly to the US economy, and by banning them, the US economy would suffer.
24 lakh-Total number of Indians in the US
30%-Average 10-year increase
3 lakh-Number of H1-B visa holders
2 lakh-Number of students in US