Infosys founder: ‘America First’ could turn into ‘India First’

America is great because of its willingness to accept talented immigrants.

That’s what Nandan Nilekani, the billionaire co-founder of Infosys Technologies, would tell President Trump if he had the opportunity.

“If you really want to keep the U.S. … globally competitive, you should be open to overseas talent,” Nilekani said on the sidelines of CNN’s Asia Business Forum in Bangalore.

Infosys (INFY) is India’s second-largest outsourcing firm, and a major recipient of U.S. H-1B visas. The documents allow the tech firm to employ a huge number of Indians in U.S. jobs.

The Trump administration is now considering significant changes to the visa program. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in January that Trump will continue to talk about reforming the H-1B program, among others, as part of a larger push for immigration reform.

Curbs on the visas could hit Indian workers hardest.

India is the top source of high-skilled labor for the U.S. tech industry. According to U.S. government data, 70% of the hugely popular H-1B visas go to Indians.

Shares in several Indian tech companies — including Infosys — plunged spectacularly two weeks ago amid reports of an impending work visa crackdown.

Related: Tech industry braces for Trump’s visa reform

Nilekani said it would be a mistake for the administration to follow through.

“Indian companies have done a great deal to help U.S. companies become more competitive, and I think that should continue,” Nilekani said. “If you look at the Silicon Valley … most of the companies have an immigrant founder.”

India’s contribution to the industry — especially at top levels — has been outsized. The current CEOs of Google (GOOG) and Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30), for example, were both born in India.

Related: India freaks out over U.S. plans to change high-skilled visas

But Nilekani, who is also the architect of India’s ambitious biometric ID program, suggested that India would ultimately benefit from any new…

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