90 Miles From Tyranny : India Press: Government Links Hydroxychloroquine Delivery to Trump’s Support of India’s H-1B Visa Workers

Saturday, April 11, 2020

India Press: Government Links Hydroxychloroquine Delivery to Trump’s Support of India’s H-1B Visa Workers

India’s president is linking the delivery of U.S.-purchased hydroxychloroquine medicine to his demand that President Donald Trump help India’s outsourcing workers stay past the expiration of their work visas, says a report in one of India’s leading newspapers.

The Hindustan Times reported on April 10:
The Indian government has asked the US to extend the validity of visas, including H-1B and other types of visas, held by Indian nationals who have been hit by the Covid-19-related economic slump, people familiar with developments said on Friday.

Foreign secretary Harsh Shringla took up the matter during his telephone conversation with US deputy secretary of state Stephen Biegun on Wednesday, when the two sides also discussed ways to enhance cooperation to counter the pandemic and ensure the availability of essential medicines [hydroxychloroquine] and equipment.

“We have been in touch with the US government, requesting them to extend the validity of visas of Indian nationals – H-1B and other types of visas – who are stranded in the US due to the pandemic,” said one of the people cited above, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We are closely monitoring related developments,” the person added, without giving details.

The demand is a tough sell for Trump, who has yet to implement his March 2016 promise to end the H-1B visa’s role as a cheap-labor program for many Fortune 500 companies in the United States.

But India’s government and economy rely on the wealth earned by “Non-Resident Indians” in the United States — and the coronavirus crash is sending hundreds of thousands back home during the next several months.

Still, the departure of hundreds of thousands of India’s college graduate visa workers would be a huge gain for many swing-voting, middle class American voters in 2020 — and for the politicians who needed their votes.

U.S. visa worker rules include a superstructure of many clever and complex exceptions and loopholes, all of which are designed to help U.S.investors and CEOs freely hire and fire large blocs of cheap, male, Indian visa workers. The set of complex rules also allows executives to bypass the many workplace rules and anti-discrimination laws that Congress adopted to help all American professionals win the jobs and careers needed for a middle class life.

But the system-wide, virus-induced, sudden economic crash has overwhelmed the clever complexity by causing a semi-hidden avalanche of layoffs, and pay cuts — and the underlying laws and regulations say that laid off visa workers must go home in 60 days and prevent companies from keeping a reserve army of visa workers on reduced pay or reduced hours.

The joint U.S.-Indian outsourcing group, NASSCOM, has already asked the Department of Labor to help U.S. and Indian companies rewrite the basic wage and job promises made to hundreds of thousands of visa workers, including about 900,000 resident H-1B workers:

Govt data shows 1 million Indian contract-workers get white-collar jobs in tech, banking, health etc.
The Indian hiring ignores many EEOC laws & is expanding amid gov't & media silence.
It is a huge economic & career loss for US college grads. http://bit.ly/2Sy3uw6 

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Also, India’s Congress is demanding that Indian President Narendra Modi use his control over the hydroxychloroquine supply to protect the nation’s huge population of well-paid visa workers in the United States.

On April 10, India’s Economic Times reported:

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  1. Nope, India can keep it and their workers.

  2. Ahhhh. NO.. sent them back to India put Americans first

  3. ...and to this day, when Americans are being unemployed by .gov edict, Lindsey Graham and others in the US .gov are pushing to expand the H1-B visa program.


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