October 10, 2020


The next US president won't be great for H-1B visas, no matter who he is (Ananya Bhattacharya, October 8, 2020, Quartz)

In contrast to what Trump has been saying about H-1B workers taking away American jobs, several studies have revealed that immigrants actually help bridge the skills gap plaguing several industries in the US, including big tech and healthcare.

Around 45% of Fortune 500 companies have been founded by immigrants or children of immigrants.

In 2015, New York-based immigration research and advocacy organisation New American Economy said the H-1B visas awarded in 2012-13 would create 700,000 local jobs by 2020. And a new study released in July found that immigrants are 80% more likely to be entrepreneurs and create new jobs, than natives in the US.

The Indian American demographic is "one of the most educated and influential communities in America," said Watson, citing the examples of Indian-origin tech leaders like Microsoft's Satya Nadella and Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, who started their careers in the US on H-1B visas.

There are several examples of how the US has lost out on opportunities because of its unfavourable visa policies. For instance, Wharton-educated Kunal Bahl returned to India after he had to quit his job at Microsoft because of a failed brush with the H-1B lottery. Back in India, Bahl founded e-commerce firm Snapdeal, which at one point provided jobs to over 6,000 people.

Today, Indian Americans may comprise just 1.6% of the US population but they are still the second-largest immigrant group in the US after Mexicans.

"Indian Americans have the opportunity to influence the US election, especially as (more) are moving to swing states like North Carolina, which may be key to the outcome of the election," said Mark Davies, global chairman at Davies & Associates. "That said, Indian-Americans should not be viewed a monolithic voting bloc influenced by immigration policy alone, but rather thousands of individuals who will make their own decisions based upon what is best for their families and their businesses."

Indian-Americans also yield some influence when it comes to elections.

"Where they can make a big difference is in their campaign contributions," said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at immigration law firm LawQuest. Indian Americans have contributed over $3 million to 2020's campaigns--more than Hollywood's donors. Two-thirds of this amount has reportedly gone to Democrats. The other million went to incumbent Trump.

...it should also allow entrants to take their citizenship test at any time.

Posted by at October 10, 2020 7:55 AM