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Government Agency Actions - USCIS, ICE, etc. Visas - H-1b, L-1, E, O, TN

H1-B and L-1 Reform Bill Introduced

On July 8, 2016, Bill Pascrell Jr., Democrat – New Jersey, introduced legislation Thursday designed to “overhaul” the H1-B and L-1 visa programs. H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016, or H.R. 5657. The bill is being introduced under the guise of protecting workers and cracking down on foreign outsourcing companies that “take high-skill jobs away from Americans.”

Two of the more concerning provisions of the bill include: Requiring employers to conduct a labor market test before hiring H-1B workers and prohibiting companies from hiring H-1B employees if they employ more than 50 people and if more than half of their workers are H-1B and L-1 visa holders!

The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., who previously introduced a similar version of the measure in 2010. So, hopefully like last time this bill does not gain enough traction in Congress to move forward. Nonetheless, it is still worrisome to hear that these changes are be given any kind of consideration.

Categories
US Immigration Policy

New York Times Op-Ed by Sheldon G. Anderson, Warren E. Buffett, and Bill Gates Calls on Congress to ‘Break the Immigration Impasse’

In a recent Op-Ed piece published in the New York Times, Sheldon G. Anderson (Chairman and Chief Executive of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation), Warren E. Buffett (Chairman and Chief Executive of Berkshire Hathaway), and Bill Gates (former Chairman and Chief Executive of Microsoft) called on Congress to reach a compromise to remedy our “irrational” immigration laws. In this piece, these three business leaders stated that “the three of us vary in our politics and would differ also in our preferences about the details of an immigration reform bill. But we could without doubt come together to draft a bill acceptable to each of us. . . You don’t have to agree on everything in order to cooperate on matters about which you are reasonably close to agreement.” In reviewing the current impasse, this piece notes that “it borders on insanity to train intelligent and motivated people in our universities . . . and then to deport them when they graduate.” The Hammond Law Group applauds these statements by Mr. Anderson, Mr. Buffett, and Mr. Gates. We also agree with their conclusion that “whatever the precise provisions of a law, it’s time for the House to draft and pass a bill that reflects both our country’s humanity and its self-interest. Differences with the Senate should be hammered out by members of a conference committee, committed to deal.” These statements are a call to action that every member of Congress should consider as they review whether or not their choices are truly reflecting the best interests of our country.

Categories
US Immigration Policy

Cargill to Outsource IT Jobs to India

The StarTribue recently reported that Cargill, a giant in the agribusiness world, has announced that it will outsource a portion of its information technology services to India. This will affect 900 jobs worldwide, including 300 in the Twin Cities. These jobs will be outsourced to Tata Consultancy Services, a large IT outsourcing firm in Mumbai, India.  Some of the affected employees may be offered new positions at Cargill, others may be offered positions at Tata, and the remainder will be laid-off. With three percent unemployment in the information technology industry, we don’t blame Cargill for outsourcing these jobs to India when our outdated immigration laws prevent companies from employing specialized workers here in the U.S., especially when the H-1b cap is reached in just five days. We encourage our readers to contact their Congressional representatives to urge that new immigration laws are passed.

Categories
US Immigration Policy

Obama and Romney attacked by Bloomberg

In a recent article, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg attacked both President Obama and the Republican candidate Romney for their failure to take a leadership role in advocating for an overhaul of the U.S. employment based immigration system which is in deplorable shape and does not provide the economic boost that an improved, more open system would provide. President Obama has paid lip service to entrepreneurial visas while in office but, nothing more, and in fact, under the policies of his administration, there has been a systematic chilling effect on the legal immigration of STEM workers, healthcare workers,  entrepreneurs, and other highly sought after professionals. Although, most insiders would argue that the chill on business immigration is a blizzard blowing from the plains of Iowa, the White House, who presumably has more control over Administration policy than a Senator from the other party, has done nothing.  The article by Bloomberg provides several great resources setting forth the economic argument for better business immigration policies and is worth a read. So far neither party leader has been willing to lead on this important economic issue and, I for one, am expecting that the cold winds from Iowa will cotinue to prevail.