Senator Kamala Harris urges Trump administration not to withdraw H-4 visas for immigrant women


Kamala Harris
Kamala Harris

Two powerful female Democratic senators have urged the Trump administration not to go ahead with its decision to revoke authorisation to immigrants on H-4 visas, a majority of who are Indian-Americans, as doing so would impact about 100,000 women. H-4 visas are issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members — spouse and children under 21 years of age — of the holder of H-1B visa, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals. Senators Kamala Harris from California and Kirsten Gillibrand from New York wrote a letter on the matter to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and USCIS Director L Francis Cissna. The letter comes after Department of Homeland Security told a US court last week it is going to revoke employment authorisation of H-4 visa holders and a notification in this connection is to be issued in less than three months. The Trump administration is reviewing the H-1B visa policy that it thinks is being misused by companies to replace American workers. It has said publicly and also in its court filing it wants to revoke work permits to H-4 visa holders. The move will have a major impact on Indian women as they are a major beneficiary of the Obama-era rule. “Rescinding the H-4 rule will result in significant personal hardship to women who will be forced to abandon their professional careers,” the two senators wrote in their letter. “Preventing women from engaging in employment can lead to isolation, depression, anxiety, feelings of guilt, and a loss of self-worth. Revoking a wife’s ability to work leaves her and her children entirely dependent on her spouse. Increased isolation — coupled with complete financial dependence — can make leaving an abusive relationship dangerous and, in some cases, impossible,” they wrote. Asserting that independence and equal opportunity…

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