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H-1B visa curbs: 'India can't do anything'

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H-1B visa curbs: 'India can't do anything'

Even as the proposed H-1B visa curbs and the possible elimination of this programme by the United States Congress is on the cards, Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon said in Washington on Wednesday that there's absolutely nothing India can do about it because it's the sovereign prerogative of the US.

The US move could adversely affect Indian IT professionals who have been the major beneficiaries of the programme.

Menon, at a press conference, after wrapping up three days of talks with senior Obama administration officials and congressional leaders, acknowledged that the H-1B issue had figured in his discussions, but said, it is "frankly for the US to decide what to do with its own sovereign decision."

"Let's be quite clear about this," he argued. "The issue of a visa -- of US visas -- is a sovereign function. We might have opinions, but if we share it with the US, frankly, it is for the US to decide who they choose to give a visa to or not, just as it's for us to decide who we give a visa to.

Menon said that "this is not an issue that India and the US negotiate or discuss. This is not part of the bilateral agenda and it cannot be by definition, just as we do not discuss our immigration policies with other people."

However, he acknowledged that "when it affects our nations, we mention to them how it affects them and what we think about it. But that's really discussions between two governments."

Menon reiterated, "Let's be clear about this -- it's not for us to tell the US what their policy should be, or vice versa. Don't expect the foreign secretary of India to start making comments on internal US policy."

When he was asked about the issue of trade in services and personnel, Menon acknowledged that this was an issue between India and the US "that we've discussed consistently, but it's also an issue of sovereignty."

"And, so," he pointed out, "it's a discussion between partners, where we tell them what we think, we tell them how it affects us, but, ultimately it's their decision." Menon continued to reiterate that "this would be true whether we changed our immigration regime or whether they do it. That's what partnership in about."



Ya read it in afternoon.

It's right we really can't do anything as it is purely internal matter of U.S. (read as decision of US) Anyways this will be temporary as US can't survive without those people.
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