05 August, 2021

While El Dorado Closes The Gates

Trump’s promise to turn the screws on foreign workers in the US may force the Indian IT sector to change its ways. Here’s why.

Dream Run
Indian IT professionals during lunch break at Google HQ in California
Photograph by Getty Images
While El Dorado Closes The Gates

There is an uneasy calm in the information technology (IT) sector in India these days. Ever since Donald Trump won the US presidency, it has been a war of nerves for most Indian IT companies. In the week following the US election results, large Indian IT companies’ stocks tanked by about 1-8 per cent. The future of their projects in the US is at stake. One of Trump’s strongest election time promises has been to attack the existing US immigration laws. Worse, he has promised to change the US visa rules, especially the H1B visa, the one used by Indian IT companies to send technical staff to their US projects.

Last Monday, in his first post-election address to people through a YouTube video, Trump minced no words. He said he will direct the US labour department to investigate abuse of visa programmes for immigrant workers. He also made it amply clear that foreigners working in the IT sector may face tough scrutiny under him.

That Trump is not shooting the breeze is evident from the fact that a few days ago, he proposed the name of...

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