三泰虎

无数印度妇女发现她们的“美国梦”岌岌可危

Thousands of Indian women find their American dreams in jeopardy

无数印度妇女发现她们的美国梦岌岌可危

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LIVERMORE (USA): For seven years, Deepika Jalakam sat at home. Bored, unfulfilled and dependent on her husband for every dime, she struggled with the notion that her professional life was doomed in the land of opportunity .

利弗莫尔(美国):七年来,迪皮卡·贾拉卡姆坐在家里,无聊,没有成就感,每一分钱都要伸手找丈夫要,她一直在挣扎,认为只有在充满机遇的土地上才能找到自己的职业生涯。

So when the employment card arrived in the mail in 2015, Jalakam did what she often does when good fortune comes her way: She placed it before the gods in the Hindu shrine mounted in her kitchen cabinet, blessed it with a dab of red "kum kum" powder and recited a prayer of gratitude.

所以当2015年他们收到就业卡信时,贾拉卡姆像以往好运发生时做的那样,在厨房橱柜里的印度教圣神的神龛前摆放就业卡,轻轻撒上一些红色粉末祈福并念诵了一段感恩祷告。

Within weeks, Jalakam, who has a degree in biotechnology, landed a job as an analyst at an insurance company. The next year, she and her husband, Vinay Kumar, a software engineer, bought a house. In 2017, the finances of the Indian immigrant couple were secure enough that they decided to have a second child.

几周后,拥有生物技术学位的贾拉卡姆找到了一份保险公司分析师的工作。第二年,她和她的丈夫,软件工程师维奈库马尔购置一处房产。到了2017年,这对印度移民夫妇的财务状况已经稳定下来,他们决定生育第二个孩子。

All that planning, though, is in jeopardy. Jalakam and thousands of other spouses of skilled workers have been told that their special work permits - authorisation that can mean the difference between struggling and thriving in their adopted homeland - are likely to be revoked.

然而,这些生活规划现在都岌岌可危了。贾拉卡姆和其他数千名技术工人的配偶被告知,他们的特殊工作许可—对他们来说关乎存亡的批文—很可能被取消。

The Trump administration announced last fall that, as part of a crackdown on H-1B visas issued for skilled workers to enter the United States, it plans to rescind an Obama-era programme that allowed spouses to work. The change, expected in June, would mean that thousands of mainly Indian women who followed their husbands to the US will have to give up their jobs - even though many are highly educated workers.

特朗普政府去年秋天宣布,作为压缩发放给美国技术移民的H-1B签证的政策的一部分,政府计划废除“奥巴马时代”允许配偶工作的政令。这一变革预计将在6月份发生,这意味着无数跟随丈夫前往美国的印度女性将不得不放弃自己的工作—即使其中多数都受过高等教育。

"We were happily working and feeling settled down with the life we wanted. Suddenly, this announcement came and there is instability," said Jalakam, 32, who now finds herself worrying about everything from day-to-day spending to vacation plans.

32岁的贾拉卡姆说:“我们快乐地工作着,生活如我们所愿安定下来。但突然间,这个声明给我们带来了不确定性。”她发现自己已经在为从日常开支到度假计划的一切担心。

Across the country, thousands of Indian families are caught in a similar dilemma because of the outsized role that they play in the H-1B visa programme. The annual visa scramble began this week. The petitions represent tens of thousands of foreigners vying for the opportunity to work in the US for three years or long er. Many are Indian software engineers and computer programmers recruited by American technology companies that say they cannot find enough talent in this country.

在全美范围内,成千上万的印度家庭陷入了类似的困境,因为他们是H-1B签证项目的主要构成群体。这个星期一年一度的签证争夺战又开始了。成千上万的外国申请人互相争夺在美国工作3年或更久的机会。其中很多是被美国科技公司雇佣的印度软件工程师和计算机程序员,这些公司称他们无法在美国找到足够多的人才。

But the H-1B programme has spawned controversy. During his campaign, President Trump invited Americans displaced by H-1B workers to his rallies. Since taking office, he has ordered the programme's overhaul, and his administration has taken steps to tighten scrutiny of applications.

但H-1B项目引发了争议。在竞选期间,特朗普总统就曾邀请被H-1B申请人抢走工作的美国人参加集会。自上任以来,特朗普总统已下令对该项目进行全面改革,已采取措施对申请的从严审查。

Still, demand for the visas continues unabated. In 2018, for the sixth consecutive year, the federal go nment was so flooded with petitions it stopped accepting them within a week. On Friday, officials announced they had reached their annual cap within five days and would resort again to a computer lottery to select the targeted 85,000 recipients.

到目前为止,签证申请量仍未减少。2018年,联邦政府连续第六年收到大量申请,不得不在一周内停止收件。上周五官们宣布,他们已在五天内收满年度配额的申请,并将再次采取电脑随机抽选的方式选出85,000人。

Nearly 3,65,000 H-1B petitions were approved in the 2017 fiscal year. Three-quarters of them went to Indian nationals. Their success has been a mixed blessing. Tens of thousands of Indians on the temporary visas were later sponsored by their employers to remain permanently in the US, but their families are in limbo, stuck in a ballooning backlog of green cards that are approved but cannot yet be issued. The delays have meant that until recently thousands of women, many highly educated, remained at home while their husbands worked.

近365,000份H-1B签证申请在2017财年获批。其中四分之三的人是印度人。他们的成功毁誉参半。数以万计持有临时签证的印度人得到了雇主的担保永久留在美国,但他们的家人却悬而未决,他们受困于积案不断增加的绿卡申请,这些绿卡已经获批,但还不能签发。这种延迟意味着,无数受过高等教育的妇女在丈夫工作的时候只能继续留在家里。

The Obama administration attempted a partial fix to the problem in 2015, authorising temporary work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders who were in the pipeline to get a green card. Under the programme, known as H-4EAD, an estimated 1,00,000 spouses, overwhelmingly women, have obtained work permits. "I felt like I was free from a cage to fly in any direction I want," Jalakam said of her work authorisation that year.

奥巴马政府曾试图在2015年对这一问题进行局部修正,政府向H-1B签证持有者的配偶签发临时工作许可,这些人正在排队等候领取绿卡。这项名为“H-4EAD”的计划使得大约10万配偶(绝大多数是女性)获得了工作许可。贾拉卡姆在谈到她那一年的工作授权时说:“我觉得自己从一个囚笼紫游地飞向任何想去的方向。”

译文来源:三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/44624.html

Last fall's announcement that the temporary work programme would soon be scrapped has energised Indian women. Many who had sunk money into property and other investments with earnings from their jobs took to Twitter, using #standwithh4ead and #saveh4ead to raise awareness of their plight. "We're determined to save our jobs," said Jansi Kumar of Seattle, a founder of a Facebook page started in December, "Save H4EAD," which has attracted nearly 5,000 followers.

去年秋天政府宣布临时工作计划将于不久后被废止,使得印度女性群情激奋。其中许多人都把工作所得用于购房和其他投资,他们在推特上发表#standwithh4ead和#saveh4ead话题以提高人们对他们困境的关注度。“我们决心保住我们的工作,”来自西雅图的詹西库马尔说,他于去年12月在脸书上创建了一个“拯救H4EAD”专题页面,吸引了近5000名粉丝。

On the other hand, a group of information technology workers who lost their jobs to imported workers has filed suit to overturn the spousal work authorisation programme. The department of homeland security, the federal agency which oversees the programme, said it was completing an economic analysis and was likely to render its decision in June.

另一方面,一群因技术移民而失业的信息技术工作者提出诉讼,要求废除配偶工作批文。负责监管该计划的联邦机构国土安全部表示,它已完成经济学分析并可能在6月份做出裁决。

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