Indians in the US could be affected by Trump’s new vows to enforce visa restrictions

President-elect Donald Trump while giving a speech. Photo courtesy: Donald Trump's Facebook page

The latest move by President-elect Donald Trump can put Indian technology workers and outsourcing companies in the US in a fix.

Trump has vowed during rallies in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to end the practice of laid-off American workers being made to train foreigners brought over to replace them.

Trump called these incidents "demeaning" and said, "We are not going to let it happen to our people anymore."

He said that during his campaign he met workers who had been told that they had to train their replacements or they would not get the severance benefits that are given after layoffs.

Trump said that one of his main tasks would be to issue an executive order for the Labour Department to investigate visa abuses that lead to Americans losing jobs or have their earnings cut.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo courtesy: Wikipedia

Trump effect on Indians in the US

In his speeches, Trump outlined his 'America First' agenda that could affect India in two ways: reducing the employment prospects of skilled Indians in the US and undercutting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ambitious programme of 'Make in India' for exporting.

Several companies have been accused of laying off their employees and making them train workers from India brought in on H-1B visas by the staffing companies that got the outsourcing contracts.

In a widely publicised case that sparked outrage, Walt Disney laid off 250 workers and had many of them train their replacements brought in by Cognizant and HCL in 2016.

Those workers were now suing Walt Disney, HCL and Cognizant alleging they broke laws against using H-1B workers to replace American employees.

Effect on Indian economy

Indian economy which is usually sentiment driven has already seen a correction with Sensex plunging by 232 points. Media reports claim that tough talk by trump has impacted sentiments now, leading to Sensex downfall. IT has been the major recruiting field for Indians in the US. Now Trump's comments on H1B visa has Indians' future at stake.

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