A Family Separated By Trump New Visa Orders
In early March, Poorva Dixit rushed to India from the US, her home for more than a decade, after she came to know her 72-year-old mother had fallen from her bed and was in critical condition. She decided to leave her 2 young children and husband in California because of the risks of the COVID-19 spreading around the world.
Poorva and her husband are both Indian nationals while their children are U.S. citizens. A software developer with a temporary permit to work in the US, Dixit knew that to return home she would have to go to the US consulate in Mumbai to get a new visa stamped in her passport.
On March 16, a day before her visa appointment, the consulate shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions. 8 days later her mother passed away. Now a new immigration order issued by President Trump on Monday that bars the entry of holders of certain temporary work visas, could leave Dixit trapped in India, far from her children, until at least the end of the year.
Poorva is one of nearly 1,000 people in India trapped in similar situations who joined a private group on the messaging app Telegram. Many like her have lived and worked in the US legally for years but were in India when President of US-made his announcement on Monday.
They are confused and worried about their options for return, the administrators of the group told the reputed news channel. Trump’s proclamation temporarily suspends the entry of people arriving on a range of work visas including the H-1B for skilled workers, often those in the tech industry.
The ban, which comes into force on Wednesday, also applies to L visas and other seasonal workers and intern and trainee programs.