Washington : A bipartisan group of 130 US lawmakers led by influential Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal has urged the Trump administration to continue granting work authorisation to certain dependent spouses of non-immigrant workers holding H-1B visas, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
The Trump administration is planning to end the Obama-era rule allowing spouses of H1-B visa holders to work legally in the US, a move that could have a devastating impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits. H-4 visas are issued to the spouses of H-1B visa holders, a significantly large number of whom are high-skilled professionals from India.
The letter by US lawmakers to the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen comes weeks ahead of the Trump administration’s formal move to rescind the rule granting these spouses work authorisation in June. “The opportunity for H-4 visa holders to work has made our economy stronger, while providing relief and economic support to thousands of spouses, mostly women, who have resided in the United States for years,” the letter said.
“Many are on the path to permanent residency and would already be permanent residents if not for the decades-long employment backlogs. Rescinding the rule will hurt the competitiveness of US employers and the US economy, as well as H-4 accompanying spouses and their families. We strongly urge you to reconsider this action,” said the lawmakers. Signed by 130 lawmakers from both the Republican and the Democratic Party, a copy of the letter dated May 16 was released to the press.
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