Indo-US ties robust, visa fee hike makes sense: US

Last Updated: Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 00:26

Washington: The Obama Administration on Friday came out in strong support of the Border Security Bill,
that has been termed discriminatory by Indian IT companies,
saying this would in no way undermine America`s "robust and
vital" relationship with India.

"I think the United States and India have a robust and
vital relationship, and nothing in this bill should interfere
with that," US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano
told reporters at a White House briefing, shortly after US
President Barack Obama signed the Border Security Bill into
law.

Napolitano said "it makes sense" to raise visa fee for
certain business to fund for the security of the US-Mexico
Bill as by doing so there would be no financial burden on
American economy.

"I think this administration has a very close
relationship with India, and we know and hope to sustain it as
such," the official said, referring to the statements made by
businesses in India and US that the fee hike will undermine
growing economic relationship between the two countries.

"The method of payment, which is an increased visa
charge for certain business-related visas, makes a lot of
sense, because what it`s saying is that we`re going to make
sure that we pay for immigration in this part of it, but we
paid for it out of the visa system.

"That way it doesn`t come out of the general fund,
which is necessary for so many other things," she said.

The Senate was able to find a way to fund this bill
that doesn`t add to the deficit and allows US to get the
enforcement monies it needs on a permanent basis," Napolitano
said in response to a question.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, August 14, 2010 - 00:26

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