more H-1B visas? don’t hold your breath

October 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

from network world – Members of Congress have made multiple attempts to modify rules that bring foreign workers into U.S. IT jobs. Some bills seek to restrict a company’s ability to import workers, others try to make it easier to get visas or keep foreign workers once they are here. U.S. IT companies have used far fewer H-1B visas than they’ve gobbled up in previous years. In the first half of 2010 IT joblessness hovered around 5.7 percent, according to GovInfoSecurity.com. That’s a lot of out-of-work IT professionals even though the technology segment hasn’t been as hard hit as others. But a whole bunch of loopholes exist that allow companies to tap into overseas talent without being tallied in the H-1B counts. Our elected officials see a lot of ways to reign visa misuse, given the number of bills introduced. Two of the bills are particularly worth calling out. The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2010 has both House and Senate versions and directly tackles the issue. The comprehensive immigration reform bill, H.R. 4321, has a whole lot of politicians signed on in support, but all of them are Democrats. With elections looming, lack of bipartisan support doesn’t bode well. Plus, another version of the SKIL bill, an annual attempt to increase H-1B visas limits was introduced again in 2010. But in this economy, it doesn’t have the kind of steam it did when it was introduced in 2007 version (championed by a group of Republican Senators) and passed the Senate but went no further.

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