The NFAP has published a study on H-1b usage. One of the more interesting finds is that sponsorship of new H-1b petitions by the traditional Indian off-shore houses has fallen. The assumption is that this is the result of the roadblocks designed to make it more difficult for staffing/consulting companies to place H-1b workers at 3rd party sites that started with the 2010 Neufeld memo and has been on steroids since the current Administration took control. This is a reasonable interpretation but, what is a more interesting question is whether or not these large Indian outsourcing houses have been able to use these roadblocks to their advantage to encourage more projects to be moved overseas and, if so, these roadblocks have ultimately served to decrease the number of US jobs and increase the number of outsourced projects. Unintended consequences can often be quite the bitch.
Recently, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with a number of large U.S. employers urged President Obama to restore the L visa program. They charge that the changes in the application of the law by the USCIS and the US Consulates in India have gutted a program that promoted international business and spurred U.S. job growth. The fact that the denial rate of L visas has increased over 300% in the past few years with NO change in the legislation or regulatory scheme is alarming. They claim that the change in the application of existing law is politically motivated and being driven by Senators Grassley and Durbin and these efforts have resulted in an increase in outsourcing of U.S. jobs and an impediment to IT job growth in the U.S.
TechServe Alliance announced that Senator Cornyn (R-Texas) has written a letter to USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Director to consider the implications of the Neufeld memo and its impact on the IT Staffing and Consulting industry. The Senator urged the Director to meet with industry officials to fully understand the impact of this policy. There is evidence that the Neufeld policy has led to a greater outsourcing of IT jobs overseas, severely limited the creation and growth of small and medium sized IT businesses which, have long been acknowledged as critical in ecomoic growth and curtailed US domestic hiring. It is hoped that those were unintended consequences and that the Director will take a personal interest in this critical issue.
Recently, the USCIS, particularly, the California Service Center has imposed requirements on IT staffing companies employing H-1b workers that are not found in any statute or regulations. The requirement to produce contracts from parties with which the petitioner has no direct relationship is impossible to meet and the Service Center knows it ! That, is in fact their aim, to be as obstructionist as possible. Instead of applying the statutes passed by Congress and the regulations promulgated through the Administrative Procedures Act and subject to notice and comment i.e. a hearing by the public, they have chosen to arbitrarily act in an uniformed and misguided attempt to "protect the helpless Amercian worker" Kudos to the goal but, the execution gets a resounding "abject failure". I happened to have a case recently that represents the idiocy of the Califronia service Center policy. The Petitioner (Co. A) had a contract with Co. B who had a contract with Co. C (the end client). For those of you who are familiar with the staffing industry, such an arrangement is the norm rather than the exception. Entire cos. are built on such contrcatual relationships. The CSC demanded the contract between Co. B and C, and my client who has no relationship with Co. C could simply not produce the required contract. Alternative proof, including a letter from Co. C verifying the relationsip and the job description was produced but, ignored by the CSC and the case was denied. I, being filled with righteous indignation, advised my client to file an appeal because surely the appeals unit would look at the evidence with a fair and unbiased eye and approve the petition. Unofrtunately, I told my client that the filing fee for an appeal is $585.00, attorney fees were ridculously exorbidant, and it would take 14-18 months for the case to be [...]