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

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