New Delhi– India on Thursday said the contribution of the Indian technical professionals helps the US economy become competitive, and added that currently, illegal immigration is the priority of the US administration and not the H1B visa.

“It is widely agreed that the presence of Indian technical professionals makes the United States more competitive and helps its economy. You would have seen that senior US officials have stated that illegal immigration and not H1B is their priority,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in a briefing.

Gopal Baglay

Speaking on the discussions held between Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar with his interlocutors in the US last week, Baglay said: “There was a wide-ranging and strong recognition as well as respect for Indian skills and contribution of the Indian technological manpower to the US economy.”

Giving Indian perspective on the Indian professionals working in the US, the spokesperson said they were positive for the US economy.

Calling the H1B a trade and business issue, he said: “Our views have been clearly conveyed to the concerned US interlocutors. We believe that the plans of the US administration for the US economy present an opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate their strong economic partnership.”

Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar, during his visit to the US last week, said that H1B visas should be considered a trade and services issue and not purely an immigration issue.

Jaishankar acknowledged that Trump’s administration had a new perspective on the world and that India had to “adapt to it and look at new possibilities”. (IANS)