The Metropolitan Police Department in Washington D.C. was recently sued for nationality and race-based discrimination by a former employee, a Canadian national. The woman claimed that her boss made her Canadian citizenship a huge issue and blocked her application for permanent resident status and also expressed a desire to hire an American in her place.
The Reform Bill and Its Proposals:
Even as a response from the Metropolitan Police Department is awaited in the case, we have new legislation being introduced with the aim to curtail the number of H-1B visas. The bill looks upon the H-1B visa system as a scheme which exceeded its original intent and resulted in an abuse of the system. It claims that qualified American workers are being sidelined by H-1B holders in a situation that needs to be corrected without further delay.
In the works since 2007, the bill proposes to make sure that the H-1B visas fulfill the purpose that they were originally intended for; that is to allow US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialized fields. It aims to plug the various loopholes which have long been questioned by those who wish to keep immigrant workers out. Here is a list of its proposed changes:
Everyone agrees that the H-1B program allows employers to access critical skills needed by them to fill the skill gaps which make it difficult for them to grow their business and manage it efficiently.
Low costs, hard work and high compliance make these workers attractive to employers. Companies like IBM, Microsoft, Facebook and Google lobby to have the annual H-1B visa quota increased so as have better access to skilled workers. It is clear from the statistics on H-1B filing in 2014 that many technology roles are dependent on these visa holders to fill them.
The publicity and adverse reaction to the hiring of immigrants by Disney for IT work and the offshoring of jobs by Toys ‘R’ Us have made the possibility of increasing the H-1B quota even more difficult, if not impossible. It is to be seen how companies will be able to negotiate their way through these ‘reforms’ as they struggle to succeed in a competitive market.
Do comment and share your views on the possible effects of these reforms.
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