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A conditional visa

US President Donald Trump’s obsession against the inflow of foreign immigrants in the US seems unable to find a stopover. As in his latest whimsical move, Trump has, by replacing ‘Green Card’, launched a new visa called ‘Build America Visa’.

Even in his humongous electioneering before being elected to the US top job, Donald Trump used a particular word ‘Immigrants’ in a taunting manner numerous times. At that time, US intelligentsia took his strenuous views on foreign immigrants as a pinch of salt when he blamed the immigrants living in the US, for usurping the jobs that were actually meant for native Americans. Even the US media, that embraced a tough stance against Trump during his election campaigning for his aggressive and divisive statements, did not heed and actually played down (in case it heeded) his conspicuously hate-mongering rhetoric against the immigrants.

After coming to power, Donald Trump commenced to roll out his poll promises in tandem. To tackle the rising situation of illegal migrants, he beefed up the security at the US-Mexico border, and, as also promised during poll campaign, he pitched for his idea of constructing a wide wall across the border with Mexico, for which he even went on to declare a national emergency to accumulate the funds to build his dream wall. It is worth mentioning that Trump’s idea of building the border wall— that will cost US exchequer about $60 billion— hit another wall of the Democrats in the US Congress, who outrightly rejected his request to grant him an initial fund of about $6 billion to start charting out the plan for it.

Trump’s obsession to control the inflow of foreigners in the US is not restricted just to illegal migrants. In a bid to put a limit on immigrants coming to the US, Trump had also toughened up the H1B Visa norms last year. The immigrants from across the world have strongly contributed to the US economy is a fact, which is not far from global basic instinct.

Although, by introducing Build America Visa, Trump has, perhaps, displayed both wit and poise and laid out a trap for his political opponents in the US to fall into. As ironically, the Democrats in the US looks to be stuck between the devil and a deep sea. Hailing Trump for his new idea may help him in next year’s Presidential Elections. And, contrary to this, criticizing him for his merit-based visa scheme may, certainly, turn the US voters against the Democrats. Hence, turning a blind eye on this idea would, probably, be the best idea for them.

Significantly, while rationalising his new visa plan, Trump assertively stressed upon the merit-based US visa system. Trump said that only 12 per cent foreigners get the visa on Merit basis and his new scheme is intended at scaling up that percentage to 57%. The current visa system in the US favours those who have their family member(s) living there. And, that’s what, as the matter of fact, President Donald Trump is aiming to stamp out. He wants US immigration system to favour those with high skills, higher educational degree, professional qualification, either having a job offer from the US or in a condition to offer jobs there, and, most importantly, must be an English speaker. And, in addition to all these selective requirements, the candidate must pass a civics test.

Trump went on to justify the new visa, saying that he doesn’t want to make America the hotbed of unskilled cheap workers, instead, he wants qualified skilled workers to come and contribute in strengthening the US economy. Trump’s new visa idea is believed to be coined by his son-in-law Jared Kushner, clearly with an ardent ideology prevailing in the US system against the family members of Green Card holders, who are being seen as a burden on USA’s social security.

On the face of it, Trump’s new visa scheme has nothing to sneeze at. As far as Indians are concerned, the new policy is being considered as a panacea to those highly educated people and students whose visa application is long-standing due to no family contact in the USA, and hence, their patience to secure a visa are wearing thin. But, like all other plans and policies of US President, the devil is in the detail.

There is no predicting, if Trump’s new rules, like qualification, test and all, turn out to be a pretext of denying visa to foreign citizens. Denying visa to the family members of professional Indians working there will probably and terribly influence their work. If a working professional in the US is allowed to live with his spouse or parents, he can unworryingly concentrate on his work. Now that, even if a professional, by fulfilling tough US visa requirements, succeeds to secure a visa and reaches there, he will, inevitably, be bound to consume most of his energy and time in his daily routine and upkeep. In this backdrop, his productivity may invite several questions.

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