US cannot afford to lose H-1B professionals. Here’s why! - February 16, 2017

US cannot afford to lose H-1B professionals. Here’s why!

Donald Trump, the US President, has pledged to bring back or retain jobs to Americans by doing away with dependency on US H-1B visa bearing professionals.

Trump kickstarted a campaign called ‘Made in America’, which is the embodiment of just one regulation - ‘buy American, hire American’.

“My administration will follow a simple rule — buy American, hire American. Years earlier we used to take pride in buying things ‘Made in America’. We love our companies, but we don’t love them when they go out of our country. There will be consequences,” said Trump at an event.

With respect to that, the bill related to H1B visa programme was recently reintroduced in the White House, with suggestions on increasing the minimum wage of H1-B visa bearers to USD 100,000 per year and forbidding businesses from hiring H1-B employees, if their employee strength is over 50 people and more than 50% of their employees hold L-1 and H1-B visas.

If this bill gets passed, many nations especially India, will certainly be affected adversely. Yet, it is predicted that the US would be at loss as well.

Even if American firms do not want to recruit professionals on H1B visas, they are bound to anyway because of what is at stake - technology and innovation.

“There is a misunderstanding in the Trump administration and by many Americans that H1B workers are taking away American jobs. I can tell you companies don’t want to hire H1B employees as they are expensive and the process is complicated. But, they don’t have Americans with those degrees. The problem is there are no Americans graduating in technology and tech degrees. If the effort of the new administration is to increase the productivity and innovation, that’s great but they cannot do that by snatching away the talent those companies need,” stated the President & Managing Director of ‘American Venture Solutions’, Jose Latour who was also a diplomatic formerly and a consular with more than 25 years of investment based immigration experience.

The highest number of H1B visa bearers till date, were Indians. And the new bill would certainly have an impact on the Indian IT field. However, it is interesting to note that this has not been the first time where in the H1B visa programme had to face the heat.

“There was a similar situation some 15 years ago. A senator from Miami wanted to eliminate H1B and Microsoft was opening a new factory in Washington. Bill Gates then moved to Canada. There were hundreds of jobs that went to Canadians. America cannot work without foreign degree professionals in science. We all know that. This is a big political game. It will destroy innovation in America,” added Latour.

So, given the case that Trump would raise jobs for Americans, he would have to compromise in tech & innovation. The world will just have to wait and watch!

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