H-1B Visas Bringing Temporary Labor?

Susan Hall

A study by the Economic Policy Institute on the uses of H-1B visas found that companies often use them to hire temporary workers, rather than to help foreign workers become permanent U.S. citizens.


InfoWorld quotes study author Ron Hira, who is an associate professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology and longtime critic of the H-1B visa program, saying:

Rather than attracting the "best and brightest" for permanent immigration, as many have claimed, the programs have increasingly been used for temporary labor mobility to transfer work overseas and to take advantage of cheaper guest-worker labor.

Compete America, a coalition of companies universities and other sponsors of H-1B visa holders, found the study misleading, however. The group particularly ripped the study for lumping L-1 visas in with H-1B visas. The article describes the L-1 visa as being used by multinational companies for intra-company transfers. In the article, Compete America spokesman Eric Thomas says that program is working as it was designed to.

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