India asks US to amend Border security bill

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Washington, Aug 20: India asked United States to amend the the border security bill, which was signed by US president Barack Obama on Friday, Aug 13.

The border security bill allows massive increase in the fees on categories of H-1B and L1 visas. Earlier India launched formal protests against law that raised funds for the Mexico border security by raising the visa fees by more than double for Indian tech professionals.

The Indian Ambassador to the US Meera Shankar lodged an official protest to the US Trade Representative Ambassador Ron Kirk in a letter dated Aug 9, about five days before Obama signed the border security bill into law ignoring India"s concerns.

"We feel that the 'pay for' provisions of the Bill are not in keeping with the substantive cooperative agenda which the two governments are pursuing. We would ask that those provisions of the Bill that discriminate against companies of Indian origin may be suitably amended to create a level playing field for all companies," said Meera Shankar.

It was estimated that the law will have an additional cost implication of over $200 million annually and adversely impact the competitiveness and commercial interests of Indian companies sending professionals to undertake projects locally for customers in the US.

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