In the name of saving American jobs in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, Donald Trumphas hit the pause button on immigration. “By pausing immigration, we’ll help put unemployed Americans first in line for jobs as America reopens,” he said. The order might only affect green card applicants for now but then most of the 800,000 waiting for green cards are Indians.
But Trump’s move, a clear attempt to bolster his base ahead of the US election, shakes the very foundation of the image of America in the minds of many. This is a country where the immigrant story has had its fullest most Technicolor rendition, where politicians routinely boast about their immigrant roots. The American Dream is the immigrant story — coming to America with sixty dollars in his pocket and ending up as a Silicon Valley startup entrepreneur or a Nobel laureate or the owner of a chain of motels.
America is where immigrants thrived from farmer-turned-congressman Dalip Singh Saund to Google’s sundar Pichai. They left the red tape and lumbering bureaucracy of india and reinvented themselves in America, owning that coveted 3BR-3BA home in a suburban cul-de-sac. indians, now a 4 million strong diaspora, have been happy to reap the benefits of being anointed the “model minority”.