The lack of H-1B visas for workers with high skills rankles Silicon Valley. In response, Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, is allaying fears that it will become harder for hi-tech companies to hire skilled workers in the future.
Earlier this summer, Clinton vowed to uphold the high-skills visas that are prized by the tech industry, Think Progress reported.
The lack of high-skills visas limits the numbers of skilled workers who can work for IT companies from countries like India. Earlier this year, we noted how the cap on these visas for 2017 was met in matter of days.
The season for H-1B visas opened up on April 1 and the cap of 65,000 visas achieved in under a week by April 7.
In a speech this summer to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Clinton noted the need to reform the visa system. She said immigration reform should be comprehensive. The tech industry favors immigration reform and is a strong proponent of the H-1B visa program.
An article in Vox expressed concern about Clinton’s agenda. It claimed her immigration reforms would prioritize Hispanic immigrants rather than the needs of the IT industry.
Moves to Meet High Demand for H-1B Visas
It said some people in the tech industry hope that Congress will expand the high-skilled visas program while sidestepping the more contentious aspects of immigration reform. During President Obama’s first term, Congress considered bills to expand the high-skilled visa program. The moves were ultimately voted down by Democrats.
Immigration has become a very partisan issue. Democrats are championing an overhaul of the current system. Republicans, to an extent, are cherry-picking high-skilled visas as the one component of the current system that should not only be protected but expanded.
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, has adopted an anti-immigration stance. However, the report stated he embraced the H-1B visa program as a way of creating more jobs in the U.S.
H-1B visas remain controversial. Some commentators claim they pit American workers against those from overseas. Some of the tech companies such as Apple and eBay have been accused of “wage theft” by underpaying foreign workers brought over on these visas.
Clinton criticized the H-1B visa program in her Vox interview. She warned the program could be used to displace local workers with cheaper one from abroad.
However, the tech industry points to a skills shortage that cannot be met locally. If your company is using H1-B visas, it’s important to hire a skilled Texas immigration law firm to help you through this minefield.
See our checklist for the skilled visa cap season here. If you intend to apply for one of these visas, please contact our office to set up a consultation. An immigration employment attorney can give you an assessment of your eligibility for an H-1B petition.