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Bipartisan Congressional bill seeks to kill H-1B, L-1 visas for Indian IT companies

Bill Pascrell

Bill Pascrell

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Even while presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has called for “stapling” a green card to the passports of students who graduate in the U.S. with an advanced degree, a bill with bipartisan support has been introduced to Congress with the intentions of axing H-1B and L-1 work visas in the country, the primary target being Indian IT outsourcing companies.

The “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016” introduced by Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey and Republican Dana Rohrabacher from California would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B and L-1 visa employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 percent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

The success of large Indian IT companies, such as Infosys, Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services and Cognizant, are heavily contingent on the visa distribution in the U.S. If passed, the bill would cripple the business of such companies, forcing them to change their entire model and being hiring locally.

“America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs. By ‘in-sourcing’ and exploiting foreign workers, some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards,” Pascrell said in a statement.

“Without the critical reforms our bill proposes, American workers will continue to be unfairly displaced and visa workers will continue to be mistreated — both of which are unacceptable,” he added.

A statement released from the congressman’s office noted that foreign outsourcing companies are the most frequent users of the H-1B and L-1 visa program, and the congressman said over the years a number of concerns have been raised as to how certain companies have been using the program. Some might be abusing the program, the statement read.

Pascrell and Rohrabacher had introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, which could not gain enough support in the Congress.

The duo of lawmakers added that the proposed legislation would aid in combatting visa fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers, and increase penalties for those who violate the law.

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