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New twist to H-1B drama: Anger against Indian techies spills over at US review call

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http://economictimes.indiatimes.com...er-at-us-review-call/articleshow/60049277.cms

New twist to H-1B drama: Anger against Indian techies spills over at US review call
Surabhi Agarwal

NEW DELHI: Pent up anger against outsourcing, the H-1B visa programme and Indian technology workers spilled over during a recent review call organised by a top US agency responsible for overseeing lawful immigration to the United States.

The ‘national listening session’ call on July 26, organised by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as a part of President Donald Trump’s review of the country’s immigration policies, saw a wide variety of participants ranging from unemployed American workers to advocacy groups to technology companies.

According to people who are aware of the discussions on the call, the sentiment on the call was mostly “negative” with many people commenting about ill practices at Indian outsourcing companies, and some even going on to say that that there is a mismatch between how much companies paid H-1B visa holders and how much they make themselves.

For instance, one US worker on call and who was in charge of interviewing H-1B and L-1 workers commented that most of the workers applying for these visas weren’t highly skilled and his recommendation to USCIS was to be “stricter”. Another US worker from a tech company said he has seen fraud happening and suggested that the US should hike visa fees to curb their misuse. Out of the over 750 stakeholders who joined the call, around 30 people offered comments. Callers were allowed to be anonymous.

Transcripts of such calls are generally not made public. There were also individuals who represented unemployed and replaced US workers, as well as foreign nationals who may be in the US on various employment-based visa programmes, R Carter Langston, a spokesperson for USCIS, told ETin an email response.

“I am not aware that specific companies or countries were mentioned during the call,” said Langston, adding that some Indian-based companies were represented on the call.

However, people tracking US immigration policies expressed dismay at the tenor of discussions. “I am appalled at and saddened by the anti-Indian sentiments."

Many of the negative comments were specifically directed at Indian companies and Indian H-1B workers,” Poorvi Chothani, a US-licensed immigration attorney, who is aware of the points raised during the call, told ET.




She added that people seem to forget that Indian-origin US based leaders like Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Indra Nooyi and Ajay Banga were all beneficiaries of US's immigration regime and have made huge contributions to the US economy. “By cancelling the H-1B program, the naysayers want to throw out the baby with the bathwater," she added.

Hardeep Sull, a Las Vegas based immigration attorney who joined the call, told ET said that most of the comments were negative, anti H-1B and to some extent ‘anti-Indian’ too. “Even though the comments had no merit, I was taken aback by them since they were very aggressive. There are always some bad apples in any situation and the good that the H-1B programme has brought was not highlighted at all,” said Sull.

To be sure, this is not the first time USCIS has held such a call. Shivendra Singh, vice president at Nasscom said that USCIS has held at least 8 teleconferences and 12 face-to-face stakeholder engagements to elicit feedback from the public on a whole range of topics and this was the only one on the Employment Opportunity.

“Most (people on the call) expressed criticisms of the visa programs. Only a few specifically criticized the global services companies. That said, a few speakers took the opportunity to highlight the very important role the visa programs play in enabling and advancing the economy,” Singh said.

For its part, USCIS contends that focus of the listening session was to hear from stakeholders on how to protect US workers through potential changes in employment-based visa programs. “USCIS will continue to follow the President’s executive orders and will review its policies and programs, institute reforms when necessary and ensure compliance.”

Since the Trump administration took over in January, the H-1B visa program which is used by the $150 billion Indian outsourcing industry to send employees to the US has come under fire. As a result, Indian companies such as Infosys and Wipro have filed fewer visas this year even as they have announced plans to increase hiring in the US.
 

Bilal9

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Dhokeybaaj cheater H1B companies are now the norm from India - known as body shops.

I'll admit the current situation is not the fault of the better Indian programmers - but these people are few and far between. As demand has outstripped supply, all India can send abroad are its underachievers.

Majority of coders from India are now unqualified, their work reportedly has to be revised three or more times, negating any gains from cheap labor rates.
 

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Indian Techies - Cloud computing expert



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Madam jee..........work outing in gym

 

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