“My family lives in India and I love that country,” said Mr. Jaladi, “but I have spent my adult life in the United States and it definitely feels like more of a home to me.”
Mr. Jaladi commutes an hour each day to work as the head of information security at Gusto, a company that provides human resources services to small businesses. He enjoys meals at home and weekend shopping trips to Costco. He and his wife love to cook.
But visas are always on his mind, along with the possibility that he may have to return to India.
“Our ability to stay in the U.S., with good standing, depends on the visa process,” he said. “Working hard is just one factor. If the financial markets are hit and your job lays people off, H-1B visa holders have a limited time to find another job and get into good standing before we have to leave the country. If the market is down and jobs numbers are low, there will be more H-1Bs in the market looking for jobs.”
Mr. Jaladi isn’t the only one who has found himself in immigration limbo at Gusto. Shub Jain, a 26-year-old software engineer there, graduated from the University of California, San Diego, in 2014, worked at Microsoft and last fall moved to San Francisco for a job at the H.R. start-up. He has been working on an extended student visa and has lost out on the H-1B visa lottery three times. This is the last year he will be eligible to apply. “If it doesn’t work out,” he said, “I’ll leave the country.”
Mr. Jain’s life is like that of many 20-something professionals. He loves cars and driving around California, as well as exploring new restaurants with friends. But the feeling of welcome he has always experienced in the United States has shifted as politicians have changed their views on immigration.