S. 386 Moves Forward
Late last night, Senators Lee and Durbin made other members of the Judiciary Committee aware that they had worked out a compromise on S. 386 and many of the provisions appear to be very positive however, they have included a 50-50 provision which many believe is a poison pill. The 50-50 provision would prohibit any company with more than 50 employees with a workforce made up of more than 50% H-1 and/or L-1 holders from being issued any new visas. Although at first glance, it would appear that this provision only targets larger dependent H-1b users, a more thoughtful analysis reveals that this would be a significant victory for companies wishing to off-shore IT projects. It is undeniable that the IT talent pool in the US is small. IT unemployment is almost non-existent, hence the use of H-1b tech workers. If the larger Indian IT houses are prevented from brining new tech talent into the US, where are US cos. going to get needed talent ? Many U.S. employers hire H-1b workers, not from off-shore directly, but, away from the large Indian IT houses using H-1b transfers. Which is more likely; US students are going to flock to computer science programs to immediately fill the need for software developers or that IT development project is going to be outsourced to India to where the talent is already in place ? Often what looks good on paper, has unintended consequences.