US Senators Gun for Indian Firms Using H-1B Visas

WASHINGTON, Apr 9: Two US senators who had introduced bipartisan legislation last year to prevent H-1B and L-1 Visa abuses again wrote to the top 25 recipients of H-1B visas in 2007, including nine Indian firms, saying Congress had to be “mindful” of how importing “more foreign workers” would impact Americans in the light of “the recent economic downturn.”

Senators Dick Durbin (Democrat-Illinois) and Chuck Grassley (Republican-Iowa) said that although April was open season for H-1B visa hunting they were not going to sit by and allow American workers to be displaced.

“The H-1B program can’t be allowed to become a job-killer in America. We need to ensure that firms are not misusing these visas, causing American workers to be unfairly deprived of good high-skill jobs here at home,” they said in a letter which coincided with the Spring H-1B visa application season.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offices opened their doors to applications for 2009’s batch of 65,000 visas on April 1 and have been snowed under applications.

The senators asked all 25 firms including India’s Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant, Patni, I-Flex Solutions, Larson & Toubro Infotech and Mphasis about their use of H-1B visas.

The firms received questionnaires with a set of 11 questions broken into at least six sub-sections. The senators wanted details on their recruitment process for open positions, company policies. They wanted to know where they advertised and if enough priority was given to US citizens when filling open positions.

They even put Indian technology companies on the mat by asking if “good faith efforts” were made to recruit American citizens for open positions before recruiting foreigners would they support legislation prohibiting firms from hiring additional H-1B visa holders if over 50 percent of their employees were H-1B and L-1 visa holders.


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Title: US Senators Gun for Indian Firms Using H-1B Visas

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