Narendra Modi, India’s prime minister, left, listens as U.S. President Donald Trump, speaks during a joint statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S. (Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

No Discussion On H-1B Visas During Modi-Trump Meeting

The H-1B visa issue that was looming on the Indo-U.S. relationship in the run up to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's maiden meeting with President Donald Trump did not figure in the talks between the two leaders.

With the Trump administration undertaking a review of the H-1B visa regime, the most sought-after by Indian information technology professionals, the issue had taken centrestage ahead of Modi's U.S. visit.

However, the H-1B issue specifically did not figure in the talks with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar telling reporters that there was a lot of discussion with business leaders and the two leaders about the digital partnership when asked about whether H-1B visa issue figured in the talks.

"There is recognition that the Indian-American community has played an extraordinary role in building this relationship. When you value something it is obvious that you will take care of what you value," Jaishankar said.

There was also no mention of the H-1B visa issue in the Indo-U.S. joint statement issued after the two leaders met.

Also Read: Trump Wants India To Reduce Obstacles For U.S. Exports

The White House, in a fact sheet, said Indian-Americans have embraced innovation and entrepreneurship, sitting at the forefront of Silicon Valley's technology revolution, and founding an estimated 15 percent of Silicon Valley startups.

"They have helped to develop the Pentium chip, fiber optics, and noise cancelling headphones, among numerous other innovations," it said.

Today, nearly 40 lakh Indian-Americans reside in the U.S. and over 7 lakh U.S. citizens live in India.

Last year, the United States government issued nearly one million visas to Indian citizens, and facilitated 17 lakh visits by Indian citizens to the United States.

There have been growing concerns in India over the crackdown on H-1B visas. Trump signed an executive order in April for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop "visa abuses".

Trump said his administration is going to enforce 'Hire American' rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the U.S.