Covid-19: Trump plans to suspend immigration to protect American jobs

Days after the US government allowed applicants for H-1B visas to continue in the country, President on Tuesday announced a temporary suspension of immigration into the 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!,” the US President wrote in a Twitter post.

The move comes against the backdrop of an unprecedented economic crisis looming on account of the pandemic, which has taken a heavy toll on the US. The country has been the most affected globally, both in terms of number of confirmed Covid-19 cases and death toll. As of Tuesday morning in India, the country’s total cases stood at 792,759, and death toll at 42,514.

The total number of lives lost in the US is almost as much as the next two most affected countries — Spain and Italy — combined. In terms of cases, the US number is more than those of the next four put together.

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On April 14, the US had allowed applicants for H-1B visas to continue in the country, helping thousands of Indian professionals stranded due to the pandemic. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant document that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Indians are the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visa programme, according to the US Citizen and Immigration Services.

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