WASHINGTON, March 30, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "Washington is making its annual April Fool's Day joke, receiving applications for the H-1B visa lottery," said Peter Eckstein, IEEE-USA President. "There will be misleading news stories about how 'running out' of H-1Bs in five days means demand exceeds supply. Government officials, industry spokesmen and some reporters will pretend this 'demand' has nothing to do with outsourcing and cheap labor – but the American people know better and will wonder why this problem has not been solved."
"The Obama Administration has not been shy about changing other rules, and could change these without legislation," Eckstein pointed out, noting recent changes to OPT regulations. "If the administration really cares about Americans losing their jobs to H-1B outsourcers, why keep using a system which perpetuates their advantage? Why so reluctant to fix this problem?"
Responding to a request from the White House for proposed changes to the H-1B visa system, IEEE-USA urged the administration to replace the H-1B lottery more than a year ago:
Rather than handing (H-1B visas) out literally at random, USCIS should prioritize H-1B issuances to companies that are not outsourcers, i.e., which are non-dependent H-1B employers as already defined. This would not require legislation and would distribute the available supply of H-1B visas to the employers who most benefit the U.S., e.g., those who use the H-1B as a stepping stone to green cards.
"Americans who lose their jobs to H-1B outsourcers, as well as small business who struggle with hiring, are at a severe disadvantage in the bizarre H-1B lottery process," Eckstein said. "But this is evidently a problem the Administration simply does not want to fix – or they would be allocating H-1Bs by salary, with a set aside for small business."
Eckstein continued, "If the Administration won't prioritize the distribution of H-1B visas, Congress could by passing Senators Grassley and Durbin's bill, S. 2266. This common-sense bill addresses many of the flaws in our current high-skill immigration system."
IEEE-USA serves the public good and promotes the careers and public policy interests of nearly 200,000 engineering, computing and technology professionals who are U.S. members of IEEE.
Contact: John Yaglenski
Director, IEEE-USA Communications
Contact: Russell Harrison
Director, IEEE-USA Government Relations
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SOURCE IEEE-USA (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers)