Sunday, February 12, 2006

Washington Times Reports Abuse of L1 Visa

The L1 visa is intended to be used as a visa for company managers and executives who conduct business in today's global economy. The Washington Times reports that the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general believes the visa is being abused to circumvent limits placed on other visas.

Companies that use this visa for legitimate purposes could have their ability to get quick approvals for their managers and executives jeopardized because unscrupulous companies are not obeying the laws, thus exposing the system to further restrictions. Additionally, those charged to enforce the laws are not, for reasons unknown, able or willing to do so.

I believe that abuse of the visa system is placing downward pressures on American IT workers salaries, and is a contributing factor in dropping interest in Computer Science enrollment at American universities. Students no longer see a future in the IT career, fearing it will either be outsourced or that guest workers will be brought in to replace them for less pay. I hate to contribute to that fear, but the direction of this government seems to indicate that it is well founded.

In my view the main offenders of this law are "body shops" such as Infosys, and their access to our guest-worker visa program should be cut off because of ongoing abuse. The guest worker program should not become a tool to offshore American jobs or replace Americans at their own workplace.

The inspector general called for USCIS to come up with new ways to make sure overseas checks are made and has given the agency 90 days to respond. Pressure by professional groups, like the Programmers Guild and IEEE-USA, in my opinion are a reason we are seeing the government taking action against law-breakers.

More information on this subject can be found at the Washington Times website:
http://washingtontimes.com/national/20060209-115735-1691r.htm

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