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Call to expand H-1B visa: ‘open avenues for immigrant workers to tame inflation’

Former Congresswoman, Mia Love, told US Senate committee that expansion of high-skilled immigration will boost economic growth, expand American businesses, citing research Photo: AFPPremium
Former Congresswoman, Mia Love, told US Senate committee that expansion of high-skilled immigration will boost economic growth, expand American businesses, citing research Photo: AFP

  • Former Congresswoman, Mia Love, told US Senate committee that expansion of high-skilled immigration will boost economic growth, expand American businesses, citing research
  • Love says, the operation and implementation of the work visa for foreign workers has not kept pace with the country's needs.

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Elaborating the need to expand the H-1B visa programme that allows US companies to hire foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise, a former Congresswomen told US Senate committee that the operation and implementation of the work visa for foreign workers has not kept pace with the country's needs.

US technology companies depend on H-1B to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from India every year and is the most sought-after work visa among foreign professionals, including Indians.

“In 2005, 85,000 visas were available. Today, nearly 20 years later, 85,000 visas are available. There are many promising options for expanding skilled immigration," Mia Love, a former Republican lawmaker and top political commentator said during her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Love claimed that worker shortage is also fuelling record-high inflation in the United States. “Today's labour shortage contributes to high prices for food, health care and basic needs. The damage of today's worker shortage is evident across the economy. Opening more avenues for immigrant workers will help tame inflation and encourage economic growth," Love said.

Citing a research finding, she told the committee that expansion of high-skilled immigration will boost economic growth, expand American businesses, and provide more opportunities for the most disadvantaged Americans.

“According to the research by the Centre of Growth and Opportunity, H-1B visa has been a valuable component of the US immigration system since 1990, but its operation has not kept pace with the country's needs," she said in response to a question.

Last month, the Biden administration had offered a reprieve to certain categories of immigrants, including those seeking green cards and spouses of H-1B visa holders, by permitting them to use their expired work permits for an additional 18 months. The six-month extension period will automatically be extended to up to 540 days from the expiration date stated on the current Employment Authorisation Cards (EADs).

A couple of months back Congresswomen Carolyn Bourdeaux and Maria Elvira Salazar had introduced the H-4 Work Authorization Act which seeks to change the current law and grant the spouses of H-1B visa holding immigrants an automatic right to work after receiving their H-4 visa.

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