Tech Worker Visas Face Uncertain Future under Trump, Sessions
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The main U.S. visa program for technology workers could face renewed scrutiny under President-elect Donald Trump and his proposed Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions, a long-time critic of the skilled-worker program.
H-1B visas admit 65,000 workers and another 20,000 graduate student workers each year. The tech industry, which has lobbied to expand the program, may now have to fight a rear-guard action to protect it, immigration attorneys and lobbyists said.
Trump sent mixed signals on the campaign trail, sometimes criticizing the visas but other times calling them an important way to retain foreign talent.
Sessions, however, has long sought to curtail the program and introduced legislation last year aiming to make the visas less available to large outsourcing companies such as Infosys. Such firms, by far the largest users of H-1B visas, provide foreign contractors to U.S. companies looking to slash information technology costs.
“Thousands of U.S. workers are being replaced by foreign labor,” Sessions said at a February hearing.A spokesperson for Sessions did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A Trump transition team spokesperson declined to comment. Read the rest of the article HERE.For years the H1B program has been slowly meeting its death with fewer and fewer skilled workers successfully obtaining an H1B visa. This is due in large part to the shrinking number of available H1Bs to begin with, and the high, often questionable use of the H1B visa program by companies like InfoSys, Tata Consultancy Services, both based in New Delhi that pay its workers below average wages. In 2013, the Justice Department settled a visa fraud case with Infosys for $34 million. Misuse by such firms hurt everyone, most notably small and medium size businesses with a real need for qualified workers. While reform that increases oversight of such unsavory practices is welcome, it could come at a steep price for legitimate US businesses. Posted 22nd November 2016 by Barbara