If the H-1B skilled worker program is controversial here in the USA, people in India have been apoplectic. Some right-wing Indian groups have gone as far as threatening a boycott US goods in retaliation for new curbs on the program.
IndianForeign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon, in the country to discuss US-India ties with his counterpart, Hillary Clinton, is promising Indian media outlets he brought up the issue. But he didn’t push it.
We’re glad to know the grown-ups were focusing on more important issues, like terrorism, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
The Hindu: “This (H-1B) is not an issue that India and the US negotiate or discuss. This is not part of a bilateral agenda and it can’t be by definition,” Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told reporters at the end of his visit here for a first dialogue with the new US officials under President Barack Obama’s administration.
“H-1B visas were mentioned; yes in the conversations. We discussed the situation. We were told what the present policy is and we spoke about it. The rest is for the US to decide about what to do about it. Issue of US visas is America’s sovereign function,” he said.
Mr. Menon was asked about the restrictions imposed on H-1B visa holders in the stimulus package. “It is not for us to tell the US what their policy is going to be or vice versa.
But when it effects our nationals, we mention to them what we think about it.”