Introduced by Sens. Grassley, Durbin.
By Raif Karerat
A bill is being mooted by U.S. lawmakers that would cause a ripple effect that will inevitably result in tidal waves within the $146 billion IT sector.
The bill seeks to prohibit companies consisting of 50 people or more from hiring H-1B employees, if more than 50 percent of those employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
If passed, the bill would significantly constrict Indian IT companies with stateside operations, which make up the largest beneficiaries of H-1B visas.
The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) last week amidst the argument that H-1B visas were meant to fill gaps in specialized areas that cannot be filled by Americans, a purview it has since allegedly overstepped.
“There’s a sense of urgency here for Americans who are losing their jobs to lesser skilled workers who are coming in at lower wages on a visa program that has gotten away from its original intent. Reform of the H-1B visa program must be a priority,” Grassley said in a press statement.
Meanwhile, Rakesh Prabhu, a partner at Bengaluru-based immigration firm ALMT Legal, reminded The Times of India that the bill needs to be viewed through a politically-tinted lens focused on the future.
“Undoubtedly, this is a major set-back for Indian IT companies. The Bill, if it goes on to become a law, would be a speed breaker for the thriving IT business,” he said. “Even though the Bill purportedly targets saving ‘qualified American jobs,’ this development should also be seen in the background of the forthcoming US Presidential elections scheduled in 2016. Senators will take up people centric issues.”