Skip to comments.New US Bill to put cap on L-1 visas on the cards
Posted on 06/22/2003 1:51:49 PM PDT by sarcasm
BANGALORE: Just as one threat is defused, another bomb waits to explode. Theres some good news on the outsourcing/visa front in the US. But theres some bad news also. As if the pressure on billings from a global slowdown was not enough, US politicians have now begun pick stop outsourcing to India as the cause of the season.
The good news is that the landmark New Jersey (NJ) legislation, proposed by state senator Shirley Turner, to ban outsourcing of government work to non-US destinations, was withdrawn last week after the Democratic Caucus voted against it.
The bad news is that Rosa L DeLauro, a Democrat from Connecticut, intends to introduce a bill in the US Congress, which seeks to put a cap on the number of L-1 visas that can be issued in a year. This comes barely a month after Congressman John Mica of Florida introduced a bill in the US House of Representatives, seeking to ban outsourcing of L-1 visa holders to client sites.
The New Jersey Bill Inbound Call Center Bill which literally triggered off a slew of similar legislation across the US against outsourcing work to countries like India, was last week withdrawn from the floor of the NJ assembly. This was after the Democratic Caucus voted 30-3 against supporting the proposal. The Republican Caucus had earlier vetoed it unanimously.
Effective lobbying by America Inc against the bill plus the many loopholes in the bill itself, seem to have made the legislators veto it.
According to industry sources, this means that the bill has been given a quiet burial but it hasnt gone away for good. It can be recalled if felt necessary at a later date.
Meanwhile, four weeks after the Mica Bill was introduced, Representative Rosa L Delauro is preparing to introduce the L-1 Non-Immigrant Reform Act, to protect American workers and American jobs. She has asked other members to join her in co-sponsoring this bill.
In a letter to other members, she has said that her bill would close several loopholes in the immigration law that allow large corporations to bring in foreign workers, pay them less, and replace good paying American jobs otherwise held by American citizens. Jobless Americans are increasingly finding themselves victimised by US immigration policies. For many, particularly workers in the technology industry, these policies have made a bad situation much worse.
According to her, the L-1 and H1-B visas, are meant to be non-immigrant, temporary visas, but the number of these workers now employed in the country under these two programmes are estimated to be between 1,000,000 and 1,500,000.
Most of these are obviously non-Indians. The top three Indian software services companies TCS, Infosys and Wipro together last fiscal had a mere 7,000 H1-B and 5,600 L-1 visa holders, making for a total of just 12,600.
The L-1 visa programme allows MNCs to bring into the US employees from their overseas subsidiaries as intra-company transferees. There is no cap on the number of L-1s that can be issued at the moment. H1-B is a temporary work visa, which allows employees to work in the US as long as they remain employees of the sponsoring firm.
Representative Rosas Bill proposes to:
Place an annual cap of 35,000 on L-1 visas. That being the average number of L-1 visas issued during the past 10 years.
Currently, the one-year L-1 visa can be renewed up to five times for a total of 5 years for individuals with specialised knowledge, and up to 7 years for top-level executives. This is to be reduced to two renewals permitting L-1 workers to stay a maximum of 4 years.
Prohibit the practice of subcontracting L-1 visa holders by the employing firm.
Ban the filing of blanket petitions to bring in workers under L-1.
Prohibit L-1 visas to any firm that has laid off an American worker within the preceding six months and for six months after the application is filed.
Add a prevailing wage requirement to protect L-1 workers and to protect US workers from being displaced by lower wage L-1 visa holders.
Require the L-1 guest worker to have been employed by the petitioning firm full-time, continuously for three years and not for one year as now.
Authorise the department of labor to conduct ongoing surveys of the level of compliance by employers of the provisions and requirements of the L-1 visa programme, and permit the secretary of labor to impose administrative remedies including civil and monetary penalties and disqualification from petitioning the programme.
One thing is, I want to make sure Cool Guy is naturalized cuz he's a good Indian freeper.
The above quote is from teh law authorizing any "H" visa to the USAIn Ct. the insurance and 'wealth management' companies have been laying off IT staff by the droves and using foreigners, especially folks from India.
Now I realize asking for laws to be enforced is a very radical proposal to some but it is my humble opinion that we should get rid of all "H" visas with only a very limited short term exemption for those areas where there is a definite shortage of qualified technically educated people and the exemption should last no longer than it would take to get some people trained/educated. As to the other scourge overseas outsourcing, your tax dollars are subsidizing that choice by companies. See OPIC threads.
I know our misrepresentatives in DC are probably not going to do anything yet but a short communication from you to their offices would help maybe just maybe getting them off their butts.
Whichever party chooses OPIC and "H" visas in a coming election stands a good chance of winning that election.
It is not just about hi-tech jobs it is about every job from farmworker through factory worker up to those positions that require a Ph.D.
Go here for the Federally mandated wage library, wherein wages for foreign (H-1B and Green Card) workers are etched in stone, and as you can see, are generally higher than what most American citizen workers in this country get, for any type of job.
Before an H-1B can work here, the employer has to have a labor certification approved first, and compliance with the DOL wage standards are mandatory.