Nasscom Teams with State Dept. to Promote Visa Law Awareness, Trade Association Says

Don Tennant

In response to my post, "How Nasscom Is Harming the Indian IT Industry," a senior official with the Indian IT trade association has taken issue with my conclusions and provided a rebuttal, noting that Nasscom has partnered with the U.S. State Department in India on multiple occasions to educate Indian companies on U.S. immigration laws.

 

Ameet Nivsarkar, the Nasscom vice president who made the statements to an Indian media outlet that I shared in my post, emailed this response:

While we respect your right to express your views, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the activities that NASSCOM and the Indian IT Industry have been carrying out with respect to the US.

 

1. You are absolutely correct in identifying the need to abide by US immigration laws. For many years now, NASSCOM has repeatedly highlighted the need to the industry to scrutinise every single visa application as well as maintain the required documentation with the same degree as one would do for SEC filings. On multiple occasions, NASSCOM has partnered with the US State Department in India to hold workshops for educating the Industry and creating awareness.

 

2. With reference to the statement attributed to me about the parameters governing visas not being clearly defined -- this indeed is the case and companies as well as visa adjudicators have had challenges in interpreting the language. To illustrate, in US law, the requirement for specialized knowledge to be proven in order to qualify for an L-1B Visa states that "Knowledge needs to be out of the ordinary but not extra-ordinary". You will undoubtedly agree that it is extremely difficult to categorise specialized knowledge given these guidelines both for the Industry and for the adjudicators. One can take a point of view on either side and still be correct. Our only request to the US Government has been to have tangible, unambiguous and clear guidelines that leave no room for interpretation.

 

3. Lastly, the Industry itself has invested significantly in the US. The Indian IT industry has created and supports over 280,000 jobs in the US and has contributed over 15 billion dollars in taxes to the US Treasury. There is no reason for us to believe that this will not increase in the years to come. I can send you more data on the research supporting these facts if you wish.


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May 24, 2012 1:23 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says:

It's good that there is more awareness and atleast a discussion on this. The outsourcing and offshoring industry started on a trajectory towards maturity and diligence only recently after the initial boom, hype and failure and I'm guessing something similar will happen in the case of knowledge workers. Both are fairly recent developments that disrupted the traditional concept of work.

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May 24, 2012 2:13 AM Pro Pro  says:

Don, why would Indian firms still advertise for B1 Visa Jobs? http://jobsearch.naukri.com/b1-visa-jobs

Does Nasscom have a say on this?

There are 781 jobs returned with B1 visa keyword, just wondering how many more jobs are filled with B1 visas without advertising!

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May 24, 2012 2:54 AM D.K.Bose D.K.Bose  says:

"In response to my post, 'How Nasscom Is Harming the Indian IT Industry,' a senior official with the Indian IT trade association has taken issue with my conclusions and provided a rebuttal"

Don who is that senior official who has taken this to NASSCOM after reading your blog?

I think most of the people got their answer about ambiguity in US immigration law with this Don's blog, in last blog's comment I see some self proclaimed immigration experts were claiming that the laws are very clear and are not ambiguous.

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May 24, 2012 3:37 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to D.K.Bose

The immigration laws are pretty clear and not ambiguous. You don't have to be an "immigration expert" to understand it. Which part of it don't you understand?

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May 24, 2012 4:03 AM D.K.Bose D.K.Bose  says: in response to George Alexander

George-- Read Ameet Nivsarkar's second point mentioned by Don, to first understand what is ambgious....

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May 24, 2012 4:32 AM George Alexander George Alexander  says: in response to D.K.Bose

Yeah, I read it. First of all, he is not quoting correctly. Yeah, he quoted it wrong unless he points to the source of his quote. I don't know where he quoted the L1 statement from. Secondly, he is quoting out of context by just quoting a partial sentence instead of the whole - both these types of behavior are done typically by people who intend to mislead.

Fortunately it's very easy to do your homework:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=bfd10b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=bfd10b89284a3210VgnVCM100000b92ca60aRCRD

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L-1B Intracompany Transferee Specialized Knowledge

Also to qualify, the named employee must:

Generally have been working for a qualifying organization abroad for one continuous year within the three years immediately preceding his or her admission to the United States; and

Be seeking to enter the United States to render services in a specialized knowledge capacity to a branch of the same employer or one of its qualifying organizations.

Specialized knowledge means special knowledge possessed by an individual of the petitioning organization's product, service, research, equipment, techniques, management, or other interests and its application in international markets, or expertise in the organization's processes and procedures.  (See 8 CFR 214.2(l)(1)(ii)(D).)  Such knowledge is beyond the ordinary and not commonplace within the industry or the petitioning organization.  In other words, the employee must be more than simply skilled or familiar with the employer's interests.

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You don't need to be an "immigration expert" to understand that the requirements are pretty straight forward.

Is anything from the above too confusing for you? If not, why should it be too confusing for companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS etc or even NASSCOM with full blown legal and immigration departments to send workers on L1 and B1 visas to client offices months at a stretch and fill positions for programming and testing?

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May 24, 2012 8:35 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to George Alexander

Wow, what Brahmin behind did he pull the number 280,000 out of, not that it in any way compensates for the over 1 million (maybe 3 million) formerly US tech jobs gone to Indians or all the way to India over the last decade? How nice that they are finally taking a look at our immigration and visa laws. While they are at it, how about at least skimming the Cliff notes about the minimum wage laws, the the Equal Pay Act of 1963, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the 1964 and 1991 Civil Rights Acts, all of which Indian companies operating in the US have seemed equally and blissfully unaware of since commencing operations over here. Given that the Great American Job Grab has been underway for over a decade now, isn't this education campaign a little, uh, remedial? After all, as Infosys can attest, the exam has already begun.

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May 24, 2012 8:37 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Dolores

This just in:

http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2012/May/12-crt-661.html

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May 24, 2012 8:46 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

"The Indian IT industry has created and supports over 280,000 jobs in the US and has contributed over 15 billion dollars in taxes to the US Treasury."

What amazes me is how they can make claims such as this with a straight face.

"I can send you more data on the research supporting these facts if you wish."

Please do.

I hope he isn't speaking about the NFAP "studies" or other front-group studies.  Speaking of NFAP, any news on who funds them?  Perhaps  Mr. Nivsarkar can shed some light on that. 

I have a point-blank question for Nivsarkar: of the studies you are going to cite, which of them are provided by industry groups which are NASSCOM members or which are funded by your membership - or NASSCOM itself?

Do you have research supporting your claim that will survive a reasonable level of scrutiny?

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May 24, 2012 11:57 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says: in response to George Alexander

What's the definition of 'it'?

Lawyers and lobbyists love to claim that their are ambiguities and gray areas.  The more Nasscom members walk in this gray area, the more likely that'll be explaining gray areas to jurors and judges.

When I first went into business some of the first advice given was that people who try to walk that line usually step on the wrong side of it.  I try to lean on the side of caution, and Nasscom members walking that line are going to be closely scrutinized.  For companies who are literally dependent on the H-1b, it could be the end for them.

Typed on a mobile device with fat fingers.

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May 25, 2012 2:46 AM Jobs4US Jobs4US  says:

Pure Propaganda, Nasscom style.

'If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. " Joseph Goebbels

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May 25, 2012 4:46 AM R. Lawson R. Lawson  says:

Saying that "Nasscom Teams with State Dept." is like saying "David Berkowitz Teams with Department of Corrections".

I guess we could also say that Nasscom and membership are teaming with grand juries and federal investigators as we speak.

When you "team" with someone, they're usually not saying things like "show me evidence" or very soon to some Infosys executives "turn your head and cough". 

I guess if you want to think of the glass half full, think of your extradition as being "drafted" into the team.

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May 25, 2012 4:48 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says:

"While we respect your right to express your views, I would like to take this opportunity to highlight some of the activities that NASSCOM and the Indian IT Industry have been carrying out with respect to the US."

RICO-organized crime syndicates, ethnic cleansing of white Americans out of IT, deliberate denial of jobs to Americans who created Silicon Valley long before NASSCOM-affiliated companies ever set foot in USA.

280,000 jobs? Is he serious? The US has lost TWENTY EIGHT MILLION jobs since 1998. And jobs for WHOM? Not for white Americans, which is the group whose jobs these NASSCOM companies WANT.

When will the US gov't shut these people down under RICO?

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May 25, 2012 4:51 AM Wakjob Wakjob  says: in response to D.K.Bose

"I think most of the people got their answer about ambiguity in US immigration law with this Don's blog, in last blog's comment I see some self proclaimed immigration experts were claiming that the laws are very clear and are not ambiguous."

How's this for non-ambiguous:

TITLE 8, Section 1182 INADMISSIBLE ALIENS says ALL foreign workers are illegal if Americans are unemployed. Read it. Enforce it.

What part of 'TEMPORARY GUEST WORKERS who are here for the dot-com and Y2K booms and who will go home after the booms" don't you get?

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May 25, 2012 8:34 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Dolores

"Steve Parker" is the Operations Head (whatever that title means) at

Whiz LLC, the company named in the DOJ lawsuit.

http://www.bullhornreach.com/user/58815_steve-parker

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May 25, 2012 11:32 AM Jobs4US Jobs4US  says:

'On multiple occasions, NASSCOM has partnered with the US State Department in India to hold workshops for educating the Industry and creating awareness.'

Let's examine the record. Some highlights

ID      05NEWDELHI2116

SUBJECT      DEPUTY SECRETARY OF LABOR LAW'S INDIA VISIT

DATE      2005-03-21 00:00:00     

7. (U) In Chennai, D/S Law held productive discussions with members of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), India's largest and most important IT industry group (890 member firms), on the growing interaction between Indian and US businesses in high technology sectors. Arguing that outsourcing had become an integral part of the world economy that no one could stop, Indian participants expressed concern over the length of  time it took to obtain VISAS (e.g. alleging twelve week waits for a six-week assignment)

ID 07CHENNAI317

SUBJECT LABOR SHORTAGES EMERGE IN SOUTH INDIA

DATE  2007-05-02 00:00:00

5. South India prides itself on producing a huge number of college  graduates; Tamil Nadu government officials often note that the state produces more engineering graduates each year than the entire United States. business leaders report concerns over the quality of graduates from lesser institutions. An official from India's Planning Commission told reporters that only a fraction of India's 3 million graduates a year are actually employable. The Regional Director of the Tamil Nadu chapter of the well-respected National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM) told post that in south India only 12% of graduates are ready for employment.

ID      09MUMBAI85

DATE 2009-03-02

SUBJECT: MUMBAI BUSINESS COMMUNITY RAISES CHALLENGES TO IMPROVING CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN THE WAKE OF THE SATYAM SCANDAL

2. (U) On January 7, Ramalinga Raju, the founder and chairman of Satyam Computer Services, one of India's largest IT companies, confessed to manipulating the financial accounts of his company to the tune of over $1.6 billion (Ref B). Arrested immediately after this disclosure, Raju is being investigated for corporate fraud and for siphoning money from the company. Raju was a former Chairman of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), the Indian IT trade association, and was himself a highly respected representative of India's IT industry.

3. (SBU) Rajiv Vaishnav, Regional Director of NASSCOM, maintained that the Satyam fraud incident is an isolated one, not only in the IT industry, but throughout corporate India. He argued that Satyam represents a case of "intentional fraud" rather than bad corporate governance.

ID      10NEWDELHI181

DATE      2010-01-29 00:00:00

"INDIAN COMPANIES UNFAZED BY OBAMA'S ANTI-OUTSOURCING CALL"

9. Som Mittal, president of NASSCOM, told THE ECONOMIC TIMES business daily in Bangalore that President Obama has several short- and long-term pressures to cope with, but that does not mean any significant impact for the outsourcing industry. "We will be their solution and not the problem," he was reported saying. The paper reported on experts in India saying such protectionist measures are short-sighted because many US companies derive significant revenues from outside the country, and any protectionist stance could lead to a backlash

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May 28, 2012 12:45 PM Mark Mark  says:

Nimrata Nikki Randhawa Haley an Indian American politician (R-Gov. of South Carolina) signs deal with  WNS Global Services (Indian Outsourcing Company) to bring in more H1B's.

Politicians...don't they get it?

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/tech/ites/wns-global-services-opens-up-new-facility-in-south-carolina/articleshow/13605945.cms

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May 31, 2012 5:46 AM Yuvi Yuvi  says: in response to Dolores

Anybody you works with them, knows the truth. I happen to work with employees from Big Indian companies. They have one practise each for the latest industry buzz word (like SOA practise, BPM practise, cloud practise). 80-90% (with exaggeration) of it's employees don't know basics of the technology they are part of. They can't even say two sentence about the technology of their business Unit. Most of it's employees, are co-ordinaters or managers by name, doing job which somebody from Dunkin Donut can do better.

Genius is big word. As articles depicts correctly, it was nothing for than hype.

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May 31, 2012 5:57 AM Dolores Dolores  says: in response to Mark

The entire "Genius India" story was just a marketing myth anyhow. Of course, our pointy-haried bosses fell for it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/29/world/asia/29iht-letter29.html

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May 31, 2012 6:29 AM SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6 SealTeam6  says: in response to Dolores

Thanks for posting that. A really slick smoke and mirrors marketing ploy that worked very well. Our pointy haired bosses are all eithe lawyers or business majors who wouldn't know what's real skill even if it bit them where the sun didn't shine.

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May 31, 2012 10:40 AM Brian Tallon Brian Tallon  says: in response to Dolores

Also, there's this article, written by Mohit Chandra (NYTimes):

An Open Letter to India's Graduating Classes:

http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/23/an-open-letter-to-indias-graduating-classes/

But, nothing will change, the myth will continue.

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