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‘New H1B visa norms will ruin American IT sector’

60% of IT professionals in Silicon Valley are from India: Mexican lawmaker

March 17, 2017 12:42 am | Updated 12:42 am IST - New Delhi

Expressing solidarity with India, Mexico on Thursday said the economic policies of the current U.S. administration are “unviable”.

Manuel Cavazos Lerma, a senior lawmaker from Mexico, said a continued curtailment of the H1B visa scheme by the Trump administration would ensure devastation of the American IT sector. “According to various studies, almost 60 per cent of the IT professionals in the Silicon Valley are from India. So a crackdown on H1B visas by the Trump administration will ensure devastation of the IT industry of the United States,” he said.

Senator Lerma, who is part of a delegation of Mexican parliamentarians visiting India, said the Trump administration had begun by giving the impression that it would disrupt the rules of global engagement on trade, immigration and technological exchange. However, such a swift disengagement, he said, may not be possible immediately as the U.S. Congress was likely to veto President Trump’s extreme measures.

Common concerns

In the volatile post-Trump atmosphere, Mexico is therefore keen to firm up ties with other countries such as India, Australia, Japan, China and New Zealand. “We have both multilateral talks with these countries under the Trans Pacific Partnership as well as robust bilateral talks with them,” he said, emphasising that Mexico and India had common concerns in ensuring free trade and free movement of people.

Senator Lerma said the welfare of the immigrants in the U.S. was a common concern for both Mexico and India. To make the point, he said that Mexico got $ 27,000 million annually from the U.S. as remittances, which were at risk due to President Trump’s crackdown on immigrants.

“As a remittances-earning country, India too has to be concerned about what happens to all immigrants in the U.S. as President Trump also wants to target those Indian immigrants who are staying in the U.S. illegally,” he said, highlighting that the ban on the visa ban on seven Muslim countries was unfair. “Some of the best scientific talents in the U.S. came from the Islamic countries,” he said.

Senator Lerma, who is a member of the foreign relations committee of the Mexican Senate, said both countries would work more robustly in multilateral platforms. But stopped short of supporting India’s permanent candidature at the UN Security Council. “The Security Council has been a difficult platform to reform from the beginning of the United Nations and it needs some more discussion before it is reformed,” he said.

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