After the defeated Immigration bill in 2007 which would have raised the H-1B quota to well over 100,000, it seems like the entire immigrant (or as the US like the classify them, non-immigrant) community missed a golden opportunity for worthwhile change.
That particular Immigration bill was defeated in the end for the provisions relating to illegal immigrants, amnesty and paths to citizenship than the H-1B quota in a growing economy of 2007. Now due to the exonomic conditions and the lies fed to the general public by the politicians and media alike, raising the H-1B quota is not a political reality in a general form.
So what is the latest H-1B news following the April 1, 2009 opening for petition filing for FY2010?
At this stage there has been no official word from the USCIS about reaching quotas for FY2010 for the H-1B visa so hopefully that is good news for all those that applied. Given we are at the start of the week now, we should expect an announcement soon but hopefully it means that you will get your visa.
Of course if the numbers of applicants are down this year, it may signal a desire from the talented immigrant community and the increasing backward attitude towards them, that other countries or at home might be better destinations for their talents.
When you think that these people are facing a US with higher taxes, less job security, more anti=immigrant sentiment from media/politicians, longer and unclear path to permanent residency, some abuse in the workplace, etc. it is no wonder that a country like Canada is seeming like a better home with some of their recent policies.
All of this will ultimately effect the US economy and her people as we mentioned before, imagine a USA with Google, Intel or eBay which were all companies founded because of immigrants.
The Case Put Forward to Reduce the H-1B Availability
We firstly had the restrictions put on TARP companies for 2 years to hire foreign workers which meant companies like Bank of America had to rescind offers to highly educated US Masters Degree holding foreigners. Maybe some of the hard working and integrity of many foreigners who had to struggle and work hard to achieve everything in their life will help the US economy recover from all the US executives and policticionas who caused this economic mess.
Publications like Business Week are promoting the action by Senators Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to reintroduce a version of last year’s bipartisan reform bill in the next few weeks. If accepted as law, it would require employers to try to hire Americans first and to pay H-1B workers market wages. It would also bar employers from replacing American workers with H-1B holders. Perhaps most important, it would create a random-audit process to ensure compliance with the rules. It would also initially hold the H-1B quota steady with the effective outcome of reducing it by reducing the ability to get approvals.
On the face of it these recommendations seem somewhat fair except when you dig deeper. The legislation is being cleverly marketed as to help the rights of immigrants from exploitation. However given that being paid the prevailing wage of the area you are in is a minimum requirement of the H-1B visa and that there is far more exploitation of US workers and iliegal immigrants in the US by some of the biggest brands, this is of course a ruse.
Politicians only caring about their next elections chances and more votes couldn’t give a damn about immigrant’s rights and their selective highlighing of cases and devil in the details legislation would have the sum effect of virtually preventing companies from hiring foreign workers.
So in summary the main points of their legislation already exist in law via the current H-1B legislation as well as general workplace laws. They are just not being enforced by departments overseen by these same politicians who have little desire to do anything.
Is there any positive news for Immigrants?
There is one tiny show of positivity for Immigrants from a probably unlikely source. U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), introduced what he calls the “Stopping Trained in America Ph.D.s From Leaving the Economy Act of 2009”. Essentially, the bill’s acronym, Staple, represents the stapling of science, technology, engineering and mathematics Ph.D. diplomas onto green cards, granting their holders permanent residency.
So effectively the most highly trained immigrants would have immediate access to Green Cards and permanent residency and not wait in some cases for up to 15 years if they are indeed lucky enough to be sponsored as such.
Good Luck Again for FY2010 for H-1B Visa and other US Visa Applicants!