Krishnadhan Das, originally from a small town in India called Katwa, has been working under Microsoft for almost five years. He had to relocate to Redmond, Washington for a company project. While the time he spent living in the U.S. might seem pretty brief, it is during this time that history was rewritten, hatred triumphed and a nation got broken into two.
Even though the U.S. elections are done and dusted, the protests prevail. The latest source of chaos among people is surrounding President Donald Trump’s executive order that temporarily bans immigrants from seven Muslim countries from entering the United States. While corporate giants like Microsoft rallies against the ban, we at Daily Disruption, reached out to Krishnadhan Das. He is in a unique position to offer perspective on the matter, both as a Microsoft employee and as a non-native working in Trump’s America.
To start with, we asked him if he had noticed some differences in the general environment post 2016 U.S. elections. “I haven’t noticed any changes post elections yet,” said Krishnadhan. He was quick to add, “I neither have visited any place outside of Seattle/Redmond after election (because of freezing cold).”
Uncertainty Surrounding Immigration Ban
However, when it comes Trump’s travel ban, Krishnadhan admitted that he has been feeling pretty queasy about it. When Trump had originally proposed implementing harsher immigration laws, everyone thought it was impractical. But that was, of course, back when no one really believed that he could actually become the POTUS.
“I was surprised at the speed executive order was given but not on the order itself. As a newly president won by its citizen, he has the power to stop new immigrants. End of the day, immigration given to a foreign national depends upon hosting country’s choice,” said Krishnadhan.
He further stressed on the fact that the process of gaining access into the U.S. is difficult as it is. “This is best realized when anyone applies for a work/study related visa. Visa approval officer has the right to reject the visa without saying a single word. So even without the order, number of new immigrants can be easily brought down to zero by silent rejection,” he said.
Krishnadhan also expressed his confusion over the fact that green card holders who have ties to the targeted Muslim countries also stand to be barred from the country. “And there was no early warning or grace period. Instantaneously their visa was invalid. If I was there, I would have been helpless. I can’t even imagine, how painful was the experience, who faced it. Nobody prepares for this kind of scenarios, so the experience is worst. It erodes faith in the system,” he added.
H-1B Visa Holders Safe From Trump’s Wrath?
Krishnadhan also mentioned that he will remember that his “approved visa can become worthless at any moment.” Hence, he will “keep Indian consulate, lawyer’s phone number with me.” He also said that he does not think that the executive order actually does what it originally claimed. “At the end, stated reason for the order was to stop terrorist entering country. Which just like everyone, I will say, this order does not or can’t stop terrorists from entering country,” he continued.
He also pointed out that the case of immigrants is different. This is because of the mere fact that the “not so educated/hard-working refuge will increase USA government’s liability. Just like any person, USA government will try to avoid giving free lunch to everyone other than its own citizens.”
US-India Alliance At Stake
Krishnadhan also mantioned that any attempts to impose stricter laws on H-1B visa holders might ruin U.S.-India relations. “Trade between India-USA was around $62 Billion in the year 2014-15. Country to country or international relationships are based on trade only. Any action or impactful changes by USA will invite a retaliation from India. Don’t forget, how much dollar India spends on buying war machines from USA. So, it’s a lose-lose situation for both,” he said.
The ban also does not affect Indians living in the United States, who are looking forward to applying for a green card. “Green card process is kind of parallel/independent altogether than H-1B but linked through one key point. I have to have valid H-1B all time, to make progress on the independent green card process. There are some situations, where even H-1B expires, still the green card process doesn’t stop,” Krishnadhan stated.
Krishnadhan also thanked the immigration team in his company for their undying support. “Our legal and immigration team is pro-active in this matter. It’s just not for now, I have always been impressed by their work,” he said. He is hoping that Microsoft’s efforts would pay off and Trump’s immigration ban would be overturned in the court of law.