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The H-1B Visa Blog by Siliato and Malyk

Obama: Friend Or Foe To The H-1B Program?

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

On the heels of this administration's heightened immigration enforcement through the inconsistent application of "prosecutorial discretion", USCIS' increased reliance upon unannounced H-1B audits and ICE's I-9 audit money making machine, now comes President Obama's recent online forum pronouncement that "the H-1B [program] should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field."  

Is this truly the belief of our President or perhaps just a misguided attempt to placate the unemployed U.S. workforce?

To be sure, even a recently reduced 8.3% unemployment rate in the U.S. is unacceptable and must improve before the economy will respond accordingly. With that unfortunate reality, comprehensive immigration reform to address, among other things, job creation and expansion appears to be unattainable any time soon.  But to completely undermine one of the few work visa categories available that can attract highly skilled foreign nationals to the U.S., is nothing but shortsighted. 

For the time being, the question posed will remain unanswered as, apart from President Obama's seemingly off-the-cuff pronouncement above, to date, the President has not offered any specifics about what changes he would like to see in the H-1B program.  Perhaps we should refrain from reading too much into such ill-advised remarks as it is, of course, campaign season whether we like it or not.  For example, we have yet to hear the President's thoughts on the arbitrary cap set by Congress which currently has left U.S. employers without the option of hiring new H-1B workers for more than 8 months to come. 

Perhaps most troubling is that the President's latest pronouncement may underscore his lack of vision for true immigration reform--reform that would provide workable solutions that, when applied together, would fix the totality of our broken, outdated, and inadequate immigration system. A fix that would exponentially increase the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, increase wages for all workers, and grow the American economy for all.

Obama: Friend or foe to the H-1B program? The jury will most likely remain out for awhile.


Post Authored By: Anthony F. Siliato, Esq. and Scott R. Malyk, Esq. of Meyner and Landis LLP

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  1.  Big Mack's Avatar
    It is clear beyond any doubt that the topic of Illegal Immigration will remain unresolved. If it were to be resolved what new lies or deception can be used to sucker in the Latino Vote. The fact is this congress or any other does not give a rats *** on this topic exploitation is the game players are the same and the Illegal's will always carry the blame.
  2. Chris's Avatar
    It's unfortunate that the current Congress is unable to look beyond the current economic crisis into the long-term needs of the economy. The US is going to be in a war for talent with China and other emerging players, but right now the legal system is not helping the US win.

    As an H1B Visa holder, I can vouch for how difficult it was - and still is, to obtain this visa. It is especially hard for small business owners - the so called engine of recovery, to bring in people from other countries for skilled roles.
  3. SAM's Avatar
    The problem is there is shortage of skills in many areas. But the H1b persons are available only certain areas mainly some application software development. So there is excess of people available in certain areas like SAP consultants,Data ware house professionals,oracle consultants,QA positions etc. So when contract position opens tens or hundreds of resumes are coming for a few positions and most are H1b persons. And consultancy companies like TCS, WIPRO and INFOSYS and many other Indian consultancy companies are applying H1b Visa for these. Even if they increase another 100K H1b then those companies will apply more consultants in the same area by increasing the competition at the same time still the real shortage positions will not be filled. So there is a problem in way H1b is working. Without resolving that expansion of H1b will not work. I came from India and I am seeing the issues practically
  4. Neil's Avatar
    Obama claims he is trying to grow the economy but he is holding back business that need and utilize the H-1b program. Too many business suffer and the economy will not grow
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