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Guess which country’s citizens hold the record for the highest number of H1B visas to the US?

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The amount of H-1B visas issued to Indian nationals remains the highest, constituting 70 percent of those issued worldwide, according to Michelle Bond, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.

“Indian citizens receive almost 70% of all the H-1B visa issued worldwide,” Bond said. “Overwhelmingly, Indian applicants are the ones who are successful in qualifying for these visas.”

Bond, who was visiting India to hold the fifth annual Consular dialogue with her counterparts at the MEA, added that 11,000 Indian citizens were issued H-1Bs between October 2015 and September 2015. The U.S. doubled the fees to $4000 for H-1B and to $4,500 for L-1 at the end of last year.

“These specific visa where the fees changed – the H and L visas – we have seen no drop in the number of applications for those visas, no lessening of interest in obtaining those visas. It was a legislative change, so we were implementing that law,” she said in explanation.

The news of Indian’s usage of the visa comes on the heels of a congressional bill two lawmakers are seeking to introduce — the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016” introduced by Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey and Republican Dana Rohrabacher from California would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B and L-1 visa employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 percent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

“America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs. By ‘in-sourcing’ and exploiting foreign workers, some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards,” Pascrell said in a statement.

“Without the critical reforms our bill proposes, American workers will continue to be unfairly displaced and visa workers will continue to be mistreated — both of which are unacceptable,” he added.

Pascrell and Rohrabacher had introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, which could not gain enough support in the Congress.

The duo of lawmakers added that the proposed legislation would aid in combatting visa fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers, and increase penalties for those who violate the law.

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India minister Jaishankar Addresses human rights at UN

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Jaishankar Addresses Human Rights At UN | Diya TV News

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Human rights can’t be protected without addressing the threat of terrorism. That’s the message India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar delivered the UN’s Human Rights Council, emphasizing human rights cannot be protected without addressing terrorism, which he called as “one of the gravest threats to humankind.” Last month, India proposed an 8-point plan at the UN to tackle terrorism.

Dr. Vivek Murthy, who has been nominated by President Biden to be Surgeon General for the second time, made in excess of $2 million on COVID-19 related consultations and speeches according to financial disclosures. Carnival cruise lines, Airbnb and the NBA were among the dozens of organizations who retained Murthy for his expertise.

Two Indian Americans are suing Subway, the sandwich chain, claiming there is no tuna in their tuna meals. Karen Dhanowa and Nilima Amin claim Subway falsely promotes its tuna salad sandwiches as composed of wild tuna, when it actually has no tuna or any other fish in it.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Kiran Ahuja nominated to office of personnel management

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Kiran Ahuja Nominated To Office Of Personnel Management | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Biden nominated Kiran Ahuja to lead the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the agency that oversees the government’s civilian workforce. Ahuja worked in the Obama White House as executive director of the Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and later became chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management.

India has 1.3 billion people, 4 times the population of the US. Yet in terms of COVID-19 deaths, India has handled the pandemic far better according to new data. 500,000 Americans have died over the last year versus 150,000 Indians. Both nations are now in a full court press to get their respective populations immunized.

Golf superstar Tiger Woods was involved in a single-car crash with major damage to his vehicle. No one else was involved in the crash. Woods underwent surgery after suffering “multiple leg injuries,” according to his agent. But injuries are not life-threatening.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Report: Nikki Haley Eyeing 2024 Presidential Campaign

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Report: Nikki Haley Eyeing 2024 Presidential Campaign | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — It’s no surprise to political observers, but an extensive report from Politico says former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley is laying the groundwork to run for President in 2024. In recent weeks, Haley has distanced herself from former President Trump over the storming of the US Capitol. So it remains to be seen whether his supporters will look to her to guide the GOP leadership in the next political cycle.

Republican Senators Susan Collins and Mitt Romney announced they intend to vote against Neera Tanden’s nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget, another challenge to confirming of Biden’s pick for budget director. The White House reaffirmed its support for Tanden, adding that it will continue to “work toward her nomination.” West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin announced he will also vote against Tanden’s selection for OMB.

The scale of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be staggering, with the death toll now reaching 500,000 Americans. While there should be enough vaccines to cover the nation in the weeks to come, the loss of life is expected to continue to grow in the weeks ahead.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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