The Congress on Wednesday attacked the government for over trouble caused to Indian students who are facing deportation from the US due to new visa rules, saying its "diplomatic failure" in resolving the issue has insulted Indians globally.
Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi said India's image has been lowered after the US cancelled H-1B visas and the Kuwait government is seeking to bring in a new law that will restrict expatriates, leading to deportation of many Indians.
Mr Singhvi also took a swipe at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for not taking up the matter with the US president and said he should have visited the US to resolve it with "his friend" Donald Trump.
"India and Indians have been insulted at international level. Indians who have brought name and fame to the country with their hard labour are being targeted globally and the government is doing nothing about it," Mr Singhvi said during a virtual press conference.
"The PM should have travelled to the USA and Kuwait, leaving aside everything, and sought immediate reversal of these policies that affect Indians," he said.
He claimed that instead PM Modi has done nothing about it and when crores of Indians are asking questions from him, there is utter silence on his part.
Mr Singhvi alleged that the government has been found sleeping on the issues concerning students and expatriates, and it should have come forth in resolving them through diplomatic means.
"Government of India has been found sleeping. It should have intervened and should do it even now to help the Indian students," he said.
The Department of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) has told the states that the students, whose classes are going completely online, will not be issued visas for the next semester, nor will such students be allowed entry.
The ruling applies to specific types of visa issued for academic studies, he said.
The US had more than one million international students pursuing various graduate and undergraduate programmes in 2018-19, according to the Institute of International Education (IIE), which is about 5.5 per cent of the total student community in the country.
Out of these, nearly three-quarters are from Asia -- 48 per cent are Chinese and 26 per cent Indians.
The IIE says that according to the US Department of Commerce, international students contributed USD 45 billion to the country's economy.
The US Embassy said in an official alert issued on its website that the US mission has been cancelling all types of appointments involving immigrant and non-immigrant visas since March 16 in light of the global COVID-19 epidemic.
On the H-1B visas, Mr Singhvi said the US issues 85,000 such visas every year out of which Indians reportedly get about 60,000 visas annually.
The move will impact nearly 85,000 workers who were issued H-1B visas this year out of 2,25,000 applicants.
"What is the government strategy on this issue? Is It the failure of Indian diplomacy," he asked.
"Why hasn't the government settled the issue with their so called friend Donald Trump," he also asked.
Mr Singhvi said Kuwait has approved a draft of Migrant Quota Bill and eight lakh Indians may have to leave Kuwait.
According to the bill, Indians should not exceed 15 per cent of the population.
As per the Ministry of External Affairs estimates as of December 2018, the six countries of the GCC are home to more than 8.5 million Indians and the Indians make up the largest expatriate community in Kuwait, with a total population of about 1.45 million (14.5 lakhs). Kuwait has a population of 4.3 million.