H-1B visa: US Senator questions federal entities




Via The Hindu
Move comes within 7 months of missive sent to Indian cos







Details have been sought of the number of H-1B visa workers employed by the NIH between January 2002 and now (both full and part time workers), the job titles under which H-1B visa workers were employed, and a description of the efforts the NIH made to hire domestic workers before seeking an H-1B workers.






Our Bureau



New Delhi, Dec. 25 Months after asking nine Indian IT firms to explain the use of H-1B visas, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley has now turned up the H-1B-heat on two US Government-backed entities — National Institutes of Health and Fannie Mae — that are among the top 200 users of these high-skilled visas.


The Senator — who serves as a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees US’ immigration and visa policies including the H-1B visa programme — has sought details of the number of H-1B visa workers employed by the NIH between January 2002 and now (both full and part-time workers), the job titles under which H-1B visa workers were employed, and a description of the efforts the NIH made to hire domestic workers before seeking an H-1B worker.


Citing US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) data that showed the NIH to be among the top 100 H-1B employers in America, the Senator has also asked the two entities to give details of the expense incurred by them in the H-1B visa process, and the number of layoffs, by year since 2002.


“While the H-1B programme has served a valuable purpose in allowing companies to bring in temporary workers for high-skilled jobs, the US Congress has a responsibility to make sure that Americans are not overlooked in the process. I’m asking questions today to find out how many taxpayer dollars are being used to recruit foreign workers and how invested our Government-backed entities are in this visa programme,” Senator Grassley has said in the letter to the two entities.


The move comes within seven months of the Senator (along with Senator Richard Durbin) sending letters to nine Indian firms that were issued an estimated 20,000 of the 65,000 visas issued in 2006, asking for information on the utilisation of H-1B visas.

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