One of the eternal principles of our country is the idea of the American Dream – this is the conviction that anybody, regardless of their birth circumstances and social class, with some little or more strong work ethic and raw talent, will produce a life of prosperity here. Historically, immigrants have been looking at the United States as one of the only places to promote their skills and in turn, our country has immeasurably benefited from their resourcefulness. This kind of mutual good notion has been one of the greatest practicalities of the visa H1B programs created in the year 1990 as a way for United States employers to place foreign workers temporarily into the professional positions to lessen proficiency gaps in the domestic market. More than 25 years later, now, the immigration opponents can use any example of a firm’s abuse of the visa H1B visa program in attacking immigration as well as its totality and sway public opinion further damaging reform prospects.

Potential For Abuse

The H1B abuse potential was brought to the attention of the nation when a reputable American firm in October 2014 announced that it was laying off over 250 employees in the IT department. Shortly after the announcements of the layoffs, the employees that were impacted were informed that their positions will be filled by the H1b visa temporary workers – and they will have to train the foreign replacements to have them receive their separation packages.

Anti-immigrant activists and isolationists leaped in the news stories immediately. Despite the fact a wealth of educational studies proves how helpful the U.S. H1B program is to the economy – as well as the average American workers – zealots are clinging to the fact that ‘the immigrants steal their jobs’ so, the time when accounts of firms abusing the system are what the public knows about the H1B, the unreliable news tales are now being seen as an irrefutable truth. And perception is a reality in politics. This conduct not only does undermine hopes for any positive reforms in immigration, it, in fact, but also serves to strengthen the ones in Washington who have been pushing to restrain the employment immigration employment system.

The Need For STEM Workers

Making the necessity for STEM workers as well as IT, even more, terrible, Congress is now updating the contentious law of the No Child left behind. The most recent rewrite to pass in the United States House is eliminating federal science majority education funding. If the current trend continues, then our dependence on the STEM skills possessed by the numerous foreign workers will increase requiring more robust, transparent and fair immigration system. [Look at the STEM Education Be The Child left Behind? By Eric Westervelt, NPR, 28.Oct.2015]

Understanding the H1B Cap

Further matters of complication are the new H1B workers annual cap. Every year allows for only a certain number of workers, first served basis. Sponsoring a worker on H1B can be quite an expensive proposition – the one favoring multi-billion dollar businesses over the startups working on a tight budget. Industry insiders have increasingly accused numerous consulting firms flooding the United States immigration and citizenship services (USCIS) with the petitions to maximize their odds in the annual H1B lottery.

Smaller Firms Coming Up Short

In the meantime, smaller firms that have legitimate needs for fresh and talent are left wanting too often. A professor at the University of Harvard, Ronnie Hara, researching visa programs, in a recent interview at the New York times that “…. The program of H1B is very crucial in a way for employers to fill gaps and for talented individuals to come into the U.S.” Hara further says that these large corporations squeeze out legitimate program users. [Look at the Large Corporations Game H1B program, Which costs the United States. Jobs, by Julia Preston, New York Times, 10.Nov.2015.]

It was never the H1B program intent that a qualified United States Worker can be replaced by a foreign immigrant for a lower wage. Our existing immigration system that contains labor market protection doesn’t lead to this outcome, by and large. But when some few actors abuse the system, critics present some of these examples as everyone’s representative who hires the H1B personnel. The resentment that is created when misuse comes into the light makes it difficult for the ones looking for a positive immigration system transformation. Abuses cover the real picture of foreign workers adding to the corporate business, to the United States economy and our culture of diversity.

Final Thoughts

The American ideal that states that everyone regardless of their circumstances and social class can create a life of prosperity in the United States. Immigrants have been replacing domestic workers in some corporations in the United States. The US citizens are now complaining that they are taking away American opportunities. They are unaware of the significant contribution they make towards the United States Economy. This is stated in the H1B visa program.

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Beeraj Patel, Esq.

Partner at KPPB Law
Beeraj Patel's philosophy is simple - make it easy for talented and ambitious individuals to have access to immigration materials so that they can make the choice which is right for them.
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