In a major jolt to the Indian companies in the US, a bipartisan group of two American lawmakers has introduced 'H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016' in the House of Representatives which if passed by the Congress would disallow Indian companies from hiring IT professionals on H-1B and L1 work visas.
Most reputed Indian IT companies in the US rely on the H-1B and L1 visas and this bill will majorly impact them. The new resolution will prevent the IT companies from hiring H-1B employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 per cent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
If the Congress passes the bill, it will then be passed by the Senate after which President Obama will sign and bring it into a law. Congressman Pascrell commented that "some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards by in-sourcing' and exploiting foreign workers when America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs."
The newly introduced H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 would give more powers to the Departments of Homeland Security and Labour to investigate fraud and abuse in the H-1B and L-1 programs and also to tighten the loopholes in the respective visa programs and offer protections for American workers and visa holders.
Pascrell and Rohrabacher, who introduced the bill in the house, had introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, but could not get enough support in the Congress. However this time, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) have endorsed the bill.