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Even as Democratic party presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton has called for ‘stapling’ a Green Card to the passport of all foreign students who graduate with advanced STEM degrees and introduce comprehensive immigration reform, comes yet another bipartisan bill in Congress intended to stymie the H-1B and L-1 work visas in the United States, with the target seemingly being top Indian IT outsourcing companies. Also Read - Good News For H1-B Visa Seekers: US Drops Barriers To Legal Immigration
The ‘H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016’ introduced by Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey and Republican Dana Rohrabacher from California would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B and L-1 visa employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 per cent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
The revenue model of majority of big Indian IT service companies like Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant is heavily dependent on H-1B and L1 visas in the US. The bill if passed would cripple the businesses of these companies, forcing them to change their business strategy and hire locally.
The bill has to get the nod in Congress and Senate first, before it goes to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
“America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs. By ‘in-sourcing’ and exploiting foreign workers, some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards,” Pascrell said in a statement.
“Without the critical reforms our bill proposes, American workers will continue to be unfairly displaced and visa workers will continue to be mistreated — both of which are unacceptable,” he added.
Noting the foreign outsourcing companies are the top users of the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, a media statement issued by the Congressman’s office said over the years a number of concerns have been raised about how certain companies have been using these visa programs, including a 2011 report from the Government Accountability Office calling for reform, reported PTI.
Pascrell and Rohrabacher had introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, which could not gain enough support in the Congress.
The lawmakers said the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 would close loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visa programs, reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers, and increase penalties for those who violate the law.
This story was originally published on The American Bazaar.