US Tech Workers, a non-profit organisation representing American technology workers, has urged President Donald Trump to suspend H-1B and H-2B visa programmes to protect the interests of the domestic workforce that may be impacted by coronavirus outbreak. According to reports, the US body wrote to Donald Trump requesting him to suspend the programmes for this year because of the economic fallout the country is expected to face due to COVID-19 crisis.
The H-1B visa gives tens and thousands of Asian tech workers, mainly from India and China, the opportunity to work in the United States. As per reports, Indian tech workers, who are a worldwide phenomenon, are one of the most benefited groups from the programme. While H-1B visa is for highly skilled workers in the field of technology, the H-2B visa, on the other hand, allows US businesses to hire farm workers from Latin American countries.
Experts have predicted a global recession because of coronavirus lockdown, that will affect most countries, including the United States. According to reports, by the end of April, the US Department of Labour will be looking at 50 to 60 million unemployed Americans. The letter pointed out that last Thursday the United States recorded its highest unemployment rate in history after claims reached approximately three million, crossing the previous record of nearly 7,00,000 in October 1982.
COVID-19 has claimed more than 43,200 lives across the world and has infected more than 8,73,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China was the most affected country until last week before Italy and Spain surpassed it to record the most number of deaths anywhere in the world due to COVID-19. The United States and France are on the verge of overtaking China in terms of the number of deaths recorded in these countries. The virus is believed to have originated from a seafood market in China's Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally.
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