H-1B Debate Will Benefit from Reason, not Rhetoric

Ann All

With all of the rhetoric surrounding the H-1B visa issue, we find ourselves longing for a little reason.


That's exactly what we got in an IT Business Edge interview with offshoring expert Ron Hira. Though Indian officials reacted testily to a request from two U.S. senators that nine Indian outsourcing firms provide more specific details about how they utilize H-1B visas, Hira does not see the request as unreasonable.


"This is the first time that much of this data has come to light. Why has it taken so long?" says Hira. "How can you have a rational policy-making process without the critical information? The reason we don't have it is, of course, companies have been unwilling to reveal it."


Of the several H-1B legislative proposals currently being debated, Hira favors the one sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the two politicians who made the information request, largely because it would increase government oversight of the H-1B program. "The idea that companies should self-police themselves -- the system we have right now -- is misguided," he says.


Hira taps a lack of oversight as one of three major problems that plague the program, along with an absence of labor market caps and prevailing wage rules so riddled with loopholes that many companies pay their H-1B workers far less than their American counterparts earn.


Hira doesn't deny that the H-1B visa cap may need to be raised. But he doesn't think any increase should occur until those problems have been addressed. He also supports boosting the green card quota, a solution also supported by the IEEE-USA and other industry groups.

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 25, 2007 11:46 AM jake leone jake leone  says:
Why is U.S. Tech against the immigration bill?It's simple, U.S. Tech companies want to control the Green Card process, they want to hang the sword of Damacles over every h-1b worker's head. The immigration Bill in the U.S. Congress takes that power away from individual companies and puts the power into the hands of the applicant. This bill creates a merit based system, where skill, not just the whim of a company can help you to obtain a Green Card and eventually citizenship.Why is Karmal Nath (the Indian Commerce Minister) threatening the U.S. with trade sanctions? Indian outsourcing companies don't use Green Cards, they use h-1b Visas. These outsourcing companies don't even try to look for U.S. citizens for U.S. jobs. These companies openly discriminate against people based upon their point of origin. All U.S. workers are asking for is equal (not preferential) access to U.S. jobs.Karmal Nath knows this, and he is doing his best to put up a smoke-screen on the real issues.Every country has different immigration policies. But most countries share several core values, that being:- End discrimination- End Slavery and Indentured Servitude (and the current h-1b+green card system = indentured servitude)So let's work together for the benefit of all, and support the reform to the U.S. immigration.Tell the companies, and lobbyists, who have alterior motives , to go visit the 19th century. Reply

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