1. Comprehensive immigration reforms in US unlikely: Nasscom

Comprehensive immigration reforms in US unlikely: Nasscom

IT industry body Nasscom today said it is unlikely that any comprehensive immigration reforms will take place in the US in immediate future, but it does not mean that threats of such arbitrary actions are non-existent.

By: | Bangalore | Published: December 8, 2015 7:55 PM
Recently, two US Senators had introduced the legislation against the 'abuse' of H-1B visa which had adverse job impact on US nationals. (Reuters)

Recently, two US Senators had introduced the legislation against the ‘abuse’ of H-1B visa which had adverse job impact on US nationals. (Reuters)

IT industry body Nasscom today said it is unlikely that any comprehensive immigration reforms will take place in the US in immediate future, but it does not mean that threats of such arbitrary actions are non-existent.

“Currently, based on our information, we understand that it is unlikely that any comprehensive immigration reforms will take place in the immediate future in the US,” Nasscom President R Chandrashekhar told PTI.

He, however, added, “… merely because comprehensive immigration reforms are unlikely to take place, it doesn’t mean that threats of such arbitrary actions are not there. That is why we are continuing to engage, and that’s why it is important for us and the government to stay engaged in all these matters.”

Throwing light on threats of arbitrary actions, Chandrashekhar said that “the IT body is wary of certain provisions which have been introduced in the context of appropriation bill as an additional clause can cause the same effect”.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the inauguration of Bangalore ITE.biz 2015 here.

Recently, two US Senators had introduced the legislation against the ‘abuse’ of H-1B visa which had adverse job impact on US nationals. They had sought reforms to ensure Americans don’t lose out to foreign employees on jobs and pay packages.

The Bill was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley, Chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee, and Dick Durbin, Assistant Democratic Leader. It is supported by Senators Bill Nelson, Richard Blumenthal, and Sherrod Brown.

To a query, Chandrashekhar said the issue is a political rhetoric ahead of US Presidential elections, but it is not as if negative aspects haven’t cropped up, which was evident from the H1-B fee hike which were unrelated to the industry.

“Rhetoric always go up at the time of elections, but it is not as if negative aspects have not cropped up (earlier), which was evident from James Zadroga Act, which was a clear example of how certain costs were added which were completely unrelated to the industry,” he said.

The law, containing provisions to hike H1-B and L-1 visa fee per application by USD 2,000 and USD 2,250 respectively for qualifying firm, was passed by the US Congress on August 10, 2010. The law mainly hit the Indian IT companies badly.

The US, which is preparing for Presidential elections in 2016, is the largest market for the over USD 140 billion Indian IT services industry. Exports account for over USD 98 billion.

Asked about the update on their petition to the PMO post-Narendra Modi’s visit to UK, Chandrashekhar said there is no separate update from there, but the body is happy that the government had flagged the concerns before the UK government during Prime Minister’s visit to UK.

“There is no separate update from the PMO. We are happy that the government had flagged our concerns during the PM’s visit (to UK). These have been brought to the notice of British authorities,” he said.

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