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Old 07-13-2009, 11:59 AM
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Default Analysis: The next H-1B fight begins by Labor Day


Analysis: The next H-1B fight begins by Labor Day*( - IT Management - Industry Verticals - Government - Services )

by:Patrick Thibodeau

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day that seems certain to include a way to increase the H-1B cap.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day that seems certain to include a way to increase the H-1B cap. By introducing the bill in the worse possible economic climate, and then citing Labor Day as his deadline for introducing it, you could almost argue that Schumer is egging on his opponents. But that's not new for him. Among the people he has enlisted to help him is Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who testified this year at an immigration committee hearing that the cap protects U.S. workers from global competition, creating a "privileged elite."

Schumer's view follows naturally from his unabashed support of the H-1B visa program and his belief that foreign workers are critical to U.S. economic success. And as head of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Schumer is in a position to make changes.

Schumer outlined his plans in an interview with Associated Press last week; the bill is still being drafted.

The Senate has had no problem approving increases in the H-1B cap in the past. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, for instance, proposed raising the cap on H-1B visas to 115,000 and included a market-cap provision that allowed the the number of visas to grow by 20% a year if the prior cap was reached.

The cap is now set at 85,000, which includes 20,000 that are set aside for people who earn masters degree.

This time around, Schumer may take a different approach on high-skilled immigration.

One proposal that may get traction in Congress would create an independent commission to manage employment-based visas. The commission would determine whether there are labor shortages and have the authority to make annual adjustments on the cap based on economic need. That idea was pitched by the AFL-CIO in April. Schumer will also have to deal with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), both of whom are on the immigration subcommittee and have introduced legislation restricting H-1B use to the ire of Indian government and industry groups, in particular. Durbin and Grassley are among the harshest critics of the H-1B visa.

In a speech last month before an immigration policy group, Schumer outlined what he wants to achieve when it comes to high skilled workers.

"We must encourage the world's best and brightest individuals to come to the United States and create new technologies and business that will employ countless American workers, but must discourage businesses from using our immigration laws as a means to obtain temporary and less-expensive foreign labor to replace capable American workers," said Schumer. Schumer also endorsed a report in 2007, Sustaining New York's and the U.S. Global Financial Services Leadership, prepared by McKinsey & Co., that called for increasing access to H-1B visas to help keep the financial services industry competitive. President Barack Obama has appointed a top McKinsey official, Diana Farrell, to serve in his administration as a deputy economic advisor.

Angela Kelly, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based group that's headed John Podesta, President Clinton's former chief of staff, said an element of any immigration reform bill would have to be its labor protections.

"How do we ensure that by bringing these workers in we're not disadvantaging American workers and how do we invest in our folks for the long haul, so that we've got kids in computer science, math, and engineering programs, which are right now, frankly, dominated by kids who aren't from the U.S. That's the reality and we need to deal with it," she said, in a conference call with reporters.
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  #2  
Old 07-13-2009, 12:33 PM
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The commision to adjust annual quota of H1b and GC cap based on economic needs will be a best idea and will get support from moderates also. But already industrial lobby was skeptical about this idea.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vin13 View Post

Analysis: The next H-1B fight begins by Labor Day*( - IT Management - Industry Verticals - Government - Services )

by:Patrick Thibodeau

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day that seems certain to include a way to increase the H-1B cap.

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day that seems certain to include a way to increase the H-1B cap. By introducing the bill in the worse possible economic climate, and then citing Labor Day as his deadline for introducing it, you could almost argue that Schumer is egging on his opponents. But that's not new for him. Among the people he has enlisted to help him is Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who testified this year at an immigration committee hearing that the cap protects U.S. workers from global competition, creating a "privileged elite."

Schumer's view follows naturally from his unabashed support of the H-1B visa program and his belief that foreign workers are critical to U.S. economic success. And as head of the Senate Subcommittee on Immigration, Refugees and Border Security, Schumer is in a position to make changes.

Schumer outlined his plans in an interview with Associated Press last week; the bill is still being drafted.

The Senate has had no problem approving increases in the H-1B cap in the past. The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006, for instance, proposed raising the cap on H-1B visas to 115,000 and included a market-cap provision that allowed the the number of visas to grow by 20% a year if the prior cap was reached.

The cap is now set at 85,000, which includes 20,000 that are set aside for people who earn masters degree.

This time around, Schumer may take a different approach on high-skilled immigration.

One proposal that may get traction in Congress would create an independent commission to manage employment-based visas. The commission would determine whether there are labor shortages and have the authority to make annual adjustments on the cap based on economic need. That idea was pitched by the AFL-CIO in April. Schumer will also have to deal with Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), both of whom are on the immigration subcommittee and have introduced legislation restricting H-1B use to the ire of Indian government and industry groups, in particular. Durbin and Grassley are among the harshest critics of the H-1B visa.

In a speech last month before an immigration policy group, Schumer outlined what he wants to achieve when it comes to high skilled workers.

"We must encourage the world's best and brightest individuals to come to the United States and create new technologies and business that will employ countless American workers, but must discourage businesses from using our immigration laws as a means to obtain temporary and less-expensive foreign labor to replace capable American workers," said Schumer. Schumer also endorsed a report in 2007, Sustaining New York's and the U.S. Global Financial Services Leadership, prepared by McKinsey & Co., that called for increasing access to H-1B visas to help keep the financial services industry competitive. President Barack Obama has appointed a top McKinsey official, Diana Farrell, to serve in his administration as a deputy economic advisor.

Angela Kelly, vice president for immigration policy and advocacy at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based group that's headed John Podesta, President Clinton's former chief of staff, said an element of any immigration reform bill would have to be its labor protections.

"How do we ensure that by bringing these workers in we're not disadvantaging American workers and how do we invest in our folks for the long haul, so that we've got kids in computer science, math, and engineering programs, which are right now, frankly, dominated by kids who aren't from the U.S. That's the reality and we need to deal with it," she said, in a conference call with reporters.
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  #3  
Old 07-13-2009, 12:36 PM
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Is increasing H-1B cap in Schumer's plan? If so I have to ask why. Don't we still have leftover quotas this year?
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Old 07-13-2009, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by windycloud View Post
Is increasing H-1B cap in Schumer's plan? If so I have to ask why. Don't we still have leftover quotas this year?
Charles Schumer, Corporate America, Bill Gates et. al. all want unlimited H1B quota but no EB reform so that employers can use and abuse H1B like there is no tomorrow.

In all of the Capital Hill hearings, media articles they always used to talk about H1B quota issues. They all want guest workers.
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  #5  
Old 07-13-2009, 03:38 PM
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Default Commission might be good news... or not

From what I understand, the commission idea could be beneficial to our needs or it may not, it all depends on the commission members and their politics. If it is stacked with people looking to limit immigration, they may recommend to end the H1B program altogether. I think the skepticism from AILA, industry groups and business in general is that since the AFL-CIO recommended this, they probably will want to limit immigration with the commission.

@windycloud
We may have leftover H1B's this year, but what about next year? What about when the US economy recovers and we get a new boom year? Tying the quota to market needs or allowing the commission to consider market needs is part of a permanent solution.
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Old 07-13-2009, 06:50 PM
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Default where is the beef?

I think all they talk is about H1b, what about the decade long backlog for the ppl waiting in the EB backlog???? They dont want to address that. I think H1b is designed to bring in workers, by showing the carrot(GC), use them, get there taxes and get rid of them and replace them by fresh h1b(fresh blood).

All this time, both parties of the debate, just keep debating on how they keep the focus away from the problem. Somebody tell these democrats , that they got voted to fix the mis-deeds of previous administration.

Like that comedian Bill Maher says, the Democrats are the "new Republicans".
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  #7  
Old 07-13-2009, 07:03 PM
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Default Time for Some Real Action, not just the commission

I agree with you. Forming up a commission is not enough for so many people like us who have been in this country since long time playing by the rules, paying taxes. Now this is very high time, necessity is for some real action and remedies to address this agonizing Employment based Greencard backlog. I already called Senator Charles Schumers Office in Washington D.C. and requested to convey the message to the Honorable Senator to include the provisions to reduce the backlog for Employment Based Green Card Applicants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fighter View Post
I think all they talk is about H1b, what about the decade long backlog for the ppl waiting in the EB backlog???? They dont want to address that. I think H1b is designed to bring in workers, by showing the carrot(GC), use them, get there taxes and get rid of them and replace them by fresh h1b(fresh blood).

All this time, both parties of the debate, just keep debating on how they keep the focus away from the problem. Somebody tell these democrats , that they got voted to fix the mis-deeds of previous administration.

Like that comedian Bill Maher says, the Democrats are the "new Republicans".

Last edited by GCOP; 07-13-2009 at 07:05 PM.
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Old 07-13-2009, 07:04 PM
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We are accepting replacement of older US workers by younger H1bs by the name of Capitalism. So what is the wrong with replacement of older H1bs by younger H1bs. Only difference is US workers can get unemployment for some time and social security benefits
after retirement. If CIR comes EB reform also will be added as Schumer mentioned that also
Quote:
Originally Posted by freedom_fighter View Post
I think all they talk is about H1b, what about the decade long backlog for the ppl waiting in the EB backlog???? They dont want to address that. I think H1b is designed to bring in workers, by showing the carrot(GC), use them, get there taxes and get rid of them and replace them by fresh h1b(fresh blood).

All this time, both parties of the debate, just keep debating on how they keep the focus away from the problem. Somebody tell these democrats , that they got voted to fix the mis-deeds of previous administration.

Like that comedian Bill Maher says, the Democrats are the "new Republicans".
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2 out of 4 members found this post helpful.
  #9  
Old 07-13-2009, 07:20 PM
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Default Article in Forbes

The Organic Market - Forbes.com

The Organic Market - Not just for apples and pears, but the natural way to fix immigration too
Few words are less fashionable these days, few concepts more discredited. But when it comes to immigration, recent data prove beyond a doubt: markets work.

As the economic downturn has cut demand for labor in construction, hospitality, consumer electronics and other industries that depend heavily on foreign workers, the supply of those workers has responded quickly and appropriately. Far fewer foreigners are seeking to enter the U.S. in search of work, either legally or illegally.

This is exactly what markets are supposed to do: Individuals responding to economic conditions made intelligible by the market make decisions that are right not only for them but for the greater good. It's the invisible hand at work.

And yet, even as market mechanisms prove their worth--and as President Obama launches a new congressional debate about immigration reform--a consensus is forming among some experts that a government commission, rather than the market, should set immigration levels. Lawmakers crafting an overhaul should be skeptical.

The evidence that foreign workers are responding to the slowdown is unambiguous. Census data from Mexico reveal that its annual net outflow of migrants fell by roughly half in the year that ended August 2008. The U.S. Census finds the U.S. minority populations are growing far more slowly than in recent years--and that the slowed growth is particularly marked in states such as Arizona and Nevada, where the housing bubble was biggest and the bust most severe.

Meanwhile, the number of highly skilled workers seeking to enter the country is also slowing. Unlike in recent years, when the demand for high-end H1B visas so exceeded the supply that the entire year's quota was filled on the first day visas became available, so far, this year, only 65,500 workers have applied for 85,000 available slots.

These numbers underscore three truths. First, modern immigration is driven largely by economic forces--most significantly, the U.S.'s need for workers at the top and bottom of the economy. Second, market mechanisms regulate the influx in a highly effective fashion, attracting precisely the kinds of workers the U.S. doesn't have enough of and sending them exactly where we need them and when. (Think about the day laborers who raced to New Orleans after Katrina and the scientists who flocked to Silicon Valley during the dot-com boom.) And finally, immigration quotas out of sync with market-driven flows are extremely difficult to enforce.

Past mistakes drive these truths home with a vengeance. Lawmakers crafting immigration reform in the 1980s understood that employers in several industries, including agriculture and food processing, relied heavily on foreign workers. Yet legislators convinced themselves that employers could be weaned of their need for this workforce, and as a result, the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 made no effort to bring quotas into line with the market-driven flow.

But the new law was no match for economic reality, and it proved impossible to enforce. That's why the U.S. now finds itself home to 12 million illegal immigrants--workers and their families who entered the country since 1986 despite the law to meet the labor needs of our burgeoning economy.
Fast-forward to Washington, where reformers are preparing to repeat the mistake. Immigration experts close to the White House have been testing public support for reform that would crack down on the border and in the workplace and legalize the illegal immigrants already here, but provide no new pipeline for foreign workers to enter the country legally.

It's no mystery why some advocates are thinking this way: In the depths of a recession, it's hard to argue that America needs foreign workers. But in fact, the downturn has done nothing to reverse the demographic trends that make immigration so vital to the economy. When the recovery takes hold, we'll need foreign workers to grow--in construction, hospitality and high-end electronics, among other sectors. And if there's no legal pipeline, it will be 1986 all over again.

Meanwhile, still other reform advocates, including in the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, have proposed that Congress delegate the job of setting quotas to a commission. A supposedly neutral group of experts would measure labor shortages and make recommendations to Congress--recommendations that would automatically become law unless lawmakers intervened.

Can a commission empanelled by Congress ever be truly neutral? Does the economic data exist to measure labor needs, and can it be compiled fast enough to keep up with the economy? Many employers are skeptical, and rightly so.

Could a commission charged with setting quotas improve on Congress' dismal record? Perhaps. Quotas have hardly changed in 20 years, despite dramatic changes in the workplace. And the politics of immigration do not help.

But as the immigration debate unfolds this year, that must be the test any reform: Does it make our legal immigration system more responsive to the market, or not?
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