Urging The Congress To Reconsider H1-B Changes Are Five Former US Ambassadors

14 Sep 2013


Immigration News

A letter is written by five former US ambassadors to India urging the United States Congress to reconsider the changes proposed to its H1-B visa program. The ambassadors insist that the changes are not in the economic interest of the United States, are protectionist and will complicate relations with India.

As part of an overhaul of U.S. immigration laws, the Senate has passed changes to the H1-B visa program, particularly used by Indian IT firms. According to the new restrictions, companies are prevented from placing workers with visas at a client site, fundamentally disconcerting the business model of Indian companies. The rules even make it more expensive for companies dependent on visas to apply for new ones. The U.S. House of Representatives is considering its own version of immigration reform.

IT firms and the Indian government have been lobbying to try and prevent the changes to the H1-B Visa program from becoming law.

Former ambassadors Thomas Pickering, Frank Wisner, Richard Celeste, David Mulford and Robert Mulford said in the letter that the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation that has been passed by the U.S. Senate unfortunately differentiates between Indian IT companies and U.S. providers of IT which provide the same services to American businesses using virtually the same labor pool sourced from India.

The letter was posted on the website of the Coalition for Jobs and Growth. Formed by the US-India Business Council, it is a lobbying group formed to tackle immigration reform.

The ambassadors added that the new legislation sends a protectionist signal and risks provoking a tit-for-tat retaliation.

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