Our Senior partner, Mike Hammond spent 2 days in Wash DC this week with TechServe Alliance providing Congressional briefings and meeting with Congressional staff members to advocate for fair treatment of staffing and solution firms in any business immigration legislation that may be considered and updating them as to the current crisis being created by the Administration's current policies and directives. Unfortunately, there was very little optimism for any legislative solutions.
Senior partner, Mike Hammond will be a speaker at the TechServe Alliance webinar discussing H-1b visas. The webinar will focus on issues facing IT and Engineering staffing/solutions firms.
Cadence Moore, one of HLG's senior attorneys was a speaker at the TechServe Alliance annual conference. She was part of a legal panel discussing current legal trends, potential legislation, and how the political climate is impacting IT and engineering staffing firms.
In the face of recent attacks, which have portrayed the H-1b visa as a blight on the highly skilled but, unable to find employment U.S. worker; Mark Roberts, CEO of TechServe Alliance pens a well thought out article which describes the need for access to talented workers, defends the proper use of the H-1b visa, and, implores those legitimate users of the H-1b visa to not let your voice go unheard. There is no question that there is some abuse of the H-1b visa program but, Congressional studies commissioned by none other than the H-1b hater in chief, Senator Grassley have proven that said abuse is negligible. The IT and engineering industry will be proponents of well thought out H-1b reforms that provide for protection for the US worker and wages, while at the same time providing timely access to talent that is consistent with the fast paced demands of U.S. employers competing in a global marketplace. For Congressional reforms to be meaningful, they will need to cut through the rhetoric of fear and hate and be led by those not so easily influenced by the 1 in 1000 but, by the 999.
On Jan 12th, Mike Hammond will be one of the speakers for a webinar event being sponsored by TechServe Alliance . The topic will be "Utilizing H-1Bs within Your Contingent Workforce: Understanding the Changing Landscape" The webinar is offered to TechServe members only.
Many people are wondering what caused the H-1b cap to be reached so much more quickly this year. Information that the cap would be met in November, two and a half months earlier than past years, caused many employers to scramble to submit petitions. At the Hammond Law Group, we believe that there are several reasons why the cap was reached at an earlier date. Perhaps most obviously, IT industry groups, such as TechServe Alliance, have noted consistent increases in hiring throughout this year. As a result, many IT organizations submitted an increased number of H-1b petitions this year for foreign workers who they hoped would fill these positions. In addition, the U.S. Consulates in India are denying a large amount of the L-1 visas. By decreasing the amount of L-1 visas available to Indian personnel, many organizations have resorted to using the H-1b visa to ensure that their personnel are able to enter the United States and work. Finally, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Mayorkas announced on August 2, 2011 that foreign entrepreneurs could use non-immigrant and immigrant visas to obtain status in the United States. It is possible that a number of H-1b visas were absorbed by foreign entrepreneurs. While all of these reasons likely contributed to the quick rate at which the H-1b visas were used up, we believe that the high rate of denials of the L-1 visa at U.S. Consulates in India and the increased hiring occurring in the IT industry caused the cap to be reached at an earlier date.
This week, Mike Hammond will be attending the TechServe Alliance Annual conference in Az. He will be a speaker on a panel entitled, "At Your Own Peril: A Panel Discussion on the Key Legal Issues Confronting the IT Staffing & Services Industry" moderated by the CEO of TechServe, Mark Roberts. If you are going to be in attendance, please attend this session.
Last week,TechServe Alliance representatives met with USCIS Director Mayorkas and discussed the use of the H-1b program by IT staffing and consulting firms and specifically, the negative impact of the Neufeld policy memo. It is hoped that by listening to US stakeholders that the USCIS will implement H-1b policies that are more consistent with job growth and the promotion of entrepreneurship.
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.