US President Donald Trump has said that he will sign an executive order to temporarily suspend all immigration to the US to "protect" the jobs of Americans and to fight the "invisible attack" on the country by the coronavirus pandemic, a move that was widely criticised by the Democrats, including Indian-origin Senator Kamala Harris.
Meera Shankar, former Indian ambassador to the US, said, "We have to first wait and see what exactly the order says. Is this temporary, for the duration of the illness, we don’t know but there are 22 million Americans who are unemployed, who are out of jobs right now, so it is a hot button political issue. Many countries have put in temporary lockdown including on international travel which automatically takes care of immigration."
R Chandrashekhar, former president of IT industry body NASSCOM, said, "The effect on the industry may not be as dramatic as the headline might seem to indicate. The industry has been hamstrung in terms of face-to-face and in-person interaction with clients. The industry was already on a trajectory of reduced dependency on H-1B visas and even if the flights are restored, it is not as if the very next day travel will return to normalcy, people will be hesitant to begin with."