OBAMA WANTS CHANGES TO H1-B VISAS THAT HURT AMERICAN WORKERS

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President Barack Obama and his administration is wanting to change two things with the H1-B visas that will further hurt citizens in this nation in getting work. H1-B visas are permanent residency visas, or green cards, for skilled workers. While most Americans that have these skills are more and more forced into contractor positions, these people from other nations are being given a career. There are two changes are allowing spouses to work and the reissuing of unused visas from previous years. The visa changes are as much about what the Administration wants as what the corporations want.

Spouses of getting to work now

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Here, via Computer World, is the proposed changes that will affect the spouses of H1-B visa holders.

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The U.S. now issues 140,000 employment-based permanent visas or green cards each year, half of which go to dependents. The Senate bill exempts dependents from the cap, effectively doubling the number of green cards available to principals.

The idea of only counting principals and not dependents, including children, against the cap extends to family permanent residency as well. That provides an opportunity to create broad-based support for principals-only reform.

A draft letter from several groups to the president calls for the elimination, or at least a reduction, in the “egregious backlogs for legal immigration by counting only principals against the limits set by the Immigration Act of 1990.”

The letter was signed by the IEEE-USA, the Semiconductor Industry Association, the Society for Human Resources Management, and the League of United Latin American Citizens, among other groups.

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Former U.S. Rep. Bruce Morrison (D-Conn.), who chaired the House Immigration subcommittee responsible for drafting the 1990 immigration reform legislation that created the present system, believes the White House has the ability, via executive action, to allocate all available employment-based green cards to principals only.

This will mean that these spouses could get jobs as an incentive to attract the H1-B visa holders.

Reissuing unused visas

The part that should really make people realize that corporations are up to something is the reissuing issue. It is a way to help pour in more people, especially if the people are chosen for more than skillsets.

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The tech industry also wants Obama to use executive action to “recapture” unused green cards from prior years, and make them available to people now in the permanent residency backlog. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that recapturing unused green cards from 1992 to 2013 would add about 250,000 visas.

The “recapture” action was also sought in the Senate bill.

According to a several sources, some in the high-tech industry may ask the White House to establish an H-1B priority system. The priority system idea was not part of the Senate bill.

The U.S. now uses a lottery system to distribute visas if the 85,000 cap is oversubscribed. A priority system would give preference to firms that aren’t dependent on H-1B visas. This may hurt the major users of H-1B visa, offshore outsourcing firms based both in the U.S. and India.

If a company has 51 or more full time employees and 15% of those workers are on an H-1B visa, it is categorized by the U.S. as H-1B dependent and subject to special rules. There is also opposition within the tech industry to a priority system, so it may lack the support needed.

The changes could change the landscape for jobs. If the companies do chose the workers for skillsets and political ideology, it brings in cheerleaders for a specific cause. With the way that Democrats want to change voting rights, it could be another way to be advantageous for a specific political party.

PAUL SHANNON @ AMERICAS FREEDOM FIGHTERS 

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