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Indian firms asked to explain hiring process

Two US senators have questioned 25 top H-1B visa users, including Indian firms, about their recruitment process for professional workers.

world Updated: Apr 09, 2008 01:11 IST

With outsourcing becoming an election issue, two US senators have questioned 25 top H-1B visa users, including nine Indian firms, about their recruitment process for professional workers, a majority of whom come from India.

The nine Indian companies to get the questionnaires were Infosys, Wipro, Satyam, Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Tech Solutions, Patni Computer Systems, I-Flex Solutions, Larson & Toubro Infotech Ltd and Mphasis Corporation.

“The H-1B programme can’t be allowed to become a job-killer in America,” Democrat Dick Durbin and Republican Chuck Grassley said in a letter to the top 25 firms that used nearly 20,000 of the 65,000 available H-1B visas last year.

“We need to ensure that firms are not misusing these visas, causing American workers to be unfairly deprived of good high-skill jobs here at home,” they said in the letter sent April 1, the day the US Citizenship and Immigration Services began receiving H-1B visa applications for fiscal year 2009 beginning on October 1, 2008.

“By the end of the day today, all of the H-1B visas for the year will likely be spoken for,” Durbin and Grassley said, suggesting “that the loopholes in the H-1B and L-1 visa programmes are allowing for the outsourcing of American jobs”.

Apart from the Indian companies, the 16 American organisations that got the letters included Microsoft Corporation, US Technology Resources, Intel Corporation, Accenture, Cisco Systems Ltd, Ernst & Young, Deloitte & Touche, University of Illinois at Chicago, Google Inc, Prince George’s County Public Schools, JP Morgan Chase and Motorola.

“I have no doubt that we’ll hear arguments all day as to why the cap on H-1B visas should be raised, but nobody should be fooled,” Grassley said.

“The bottom line is that there are highly skilled American workers being left behind, searching for jobs that are being filled by H-1B visa holders,” he said. “It’s time to close the loopholes that have allowed this to happen and enact real reform.”