President Donald Trump has tried to ban people from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. and has begun deportation raids, following through on his campaign promise to creating a more cautious, less open America.
Recent migrants to the country are starting to worry how far the measures will go and some Indians are worried that the skilled-worker visas they use to enter the country could become the next target of Mr. Trump’s executive order pen.
When measured by average income levels or education, Indians are the most accomplished group of migrants in the U.S. but that doesn’t mean they will necessarily be spared as Mr. Trump adds to restrictions on who is allowed to enter and stay.
Here are four charts that show how and why this highly successful community is worried.
At his inauguration, Mr. Trump vowed to “follow two simple rules; buy American and hire American.” A draft of an executive order for Mr. Trump’s consideration calls for the government to re-examine a range of visa programs to ensure they prioritize and protect “the jobs, wages and well-being of United States workers.”
Hundreds of thousands of Indians were admitted to the U.S. on the skilled-worker H-1B visas, more admissions than the next five countries combined. Meanwhile there are probably hundreds of thousands more Indians who hope to someday qualify for the privilege.
A story in The Wall Street Journal last week outlined how Silicon Valley technology firms are now distancing themselves from Indian outsourcing firms as lawmakers attempt to reign in the program. Companies—both foreign and domestic—that apply for H-1Bs say they recruit in other countries because of a high-skill labor shortage in the U.S. Critics say the outsourcers cycle Indian workers in and out on low salaries without attempting to find American talent.
Data from the Department of Homeland Security shows that India also has the third-highest number of arrivals of workers transferring with their company on the L1 visa, which allows companies to transfer managers, executives or people with specialized knowledge to the U.S.
Indians working in the U.S. are one of the biggest sources of remittances out of America. They sent home close to $12 billion in 2015, according to the latest World Bank data.
But it isn’t all tech workers. India is the fastest growing source of illegal immigrants as well. The number of illegal immigrants from India rose more than 40% in the five years to 2014, according to calculations by Pew Research Center. During the same period the number from Mexico fell 8%. Pew estimates, the number of unauthorized Indian immigrants in the U.S. reached a total of close to 500,000 and the number of Mexico-born illegal unauthorized migrants fell to 5.85 million.
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