Mumbai: A National Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) said on its return from the US on Tuesday that a so-called Durbin-Grassely bill is unlikely to be presented for Congressional hearing in its current form
“We met with the senators and other stake holders and we can confidently say that the bill will not go for Congressional hearing in its current form,” said Ameet Nivsarkar, vice president at Nasscom, who was part of the team
“The issues raised in the bill proposed by Durbin and Grassely will now be incorporated into the comprehensive immigration reform bill introduced by another Senator Charles E Schumer, which is expected to come up for hearing in January or February of 2010,” he said. Senator Schumer represents New York state and is chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee.
The ‘H-1B and L-1 Visa Fraud and Abuse Prevention Act’, co-sponsored by Senators Richard J. Durbin (Illinois) and Charles E. Grassley (Iowa) earlier this year aimed to “overhaul the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to give priority to American workers and crack down on unscrupulous employers who deprive qualified Americans of high-skill jobs.”
Among other things, the bill proposed that companies with at least 50% foreign workforce in the US be prevented from seeking more work visas, besides mandatory requirement to advertise jobs in government-specified publications before seeking a visa for a foreign worker. Indian engineers on temporary work visas constitute at least 80% of the workforce at most of the leading Indian information technology services firms operating in the US. However, following rising protectionist rhetoric in the US due to the recession there, Indian companies have started increasing local hiring.