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Trump suspends expedited processing of H-1B Visas

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Foreigners hoping to make a move west will now be subject to a longer visa approval process after the Trump administration announced it will temporarily suspend expedited applications for H-1B visas.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) said on Friday that starting April 3 it will suspend “premium processing” for up to six months. Under the expedited procedure, applicants can be eligible to receive their visas in as little as 15 days, instead of the regular review period, which often spans the period of several months.

The H-1B non-immigrant visa allows U.S. companies to employ graduate-level workers in several specialized fields, including information technology, medicine, engineering and mathematics.

USCIS said during the suspension period applicants will still be allowed to request expedited consideration, but will be required to meet certain criteria, such as humanitarian reasons, an emergency situation or the prospect of severe financial loss to a company or individual. The current annual cap of H-1B visas is 65,000 yearly, with an additional 20,000 allowed for those who have earned advanced college degrees in the United States.

Once granted, the visa is valid for three years, and can be extended for an additional three years after its expiration.

The agency said suspending the expedited program will better allow for them to process the backlog of current applications, and thus reduce overall H-1B processing times.

President Donald Trump campaigned last year on a promise to crack down on immigrants who he said were taking jobs from U.S. citizens.

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Missing Hindu woman found mutilated in Pakistan

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The mutilated body of a Hindu woman was found in a field in southeastern Pakistan. Police say 40 year old Daya Bheel was murdered in the latest suspected attack against minorities in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say they have arrested some suspects but have not determined a motive.

The Khosla family has donated nearly 2 million dollars to the Nudge Institute to help fight poverty. The philanthropists have donated millions of dollars for many other causes.

And disgraced FTX founder Sam Bankman-fried pleaded not guilty to eight different counts of wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy before a U.S. federal court in the Southern District of New York. U.S. prosecutors allege that under Bankman-Fried’s direction, FTX, once considered one of the largest and most-trusted cryptocurrency exchanges, transferred billions in customer assets to his trading firm, Alameda Research. If convicted of these charges, Bankman-Fried faces up to 115 years in prison.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Christmas crash kills Indian American toddler

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Tragic news out of Nevada. Authorities say an Indian American toddler has died in a devastating Christmas day car crash and his mother is in critical condition fighting for her life. Authorities say the accident happened on a busy Las Vegas boulevard and they were returning home from a trip in California.

Anil Beephan is now the first Indian American Republican ever to be elected to the New York State Assembly in Albany. So far only Indian American Democrats have been elected to the state legislature. Beephan will also become the first minority to represent Dutchess County and at 29 years old, he’s the youngest GOP rep in the state legislature. He’s currently in the tech industry and has also worked as a volunteer firefighter.

Vice President Kamala Harris has named Indian American Rajeev Badyal to a key national advisory group, responsible for strategy and recommendations to improve and maintain space policy. Badyal already works for Amazon, helping launch satellites into orbit. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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EXCLUSIVE: Warriors host first-ever Bhangra Night

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SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) – The Golden State Warriors first-ever Bhangra Night made its debut during the Warriors-Jazz game at the Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors say it’s a chance for the team to connect with the Bay Area’s rapidly growing South Asian community and fan base. Only Diya TV was on hand to capture the festivities. This change from the annual Bollywood night was supposed to take place in 2020 but was postponed because of the pandemic.

A federal jury in San Francisco has convicted Sivannarayana Barama of insider trading. Authorities say he used the quarterly financial performance of Palo Alto Networks before that information was released to the public and then traded in that company’s stock while that information was still confidential. Barama worked in IT for several Silicon Valley companies.

U.S. Border Patrol caught more than 4000 Indians illegally crossing the Mexico border in October and November. That’s more than double compared to the same time frame last year. An Indian man recently died climbing a border wall in Texas. The Biden administration is struggling to contain a surge of illegal immigration at the southern border.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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