Obama opposes Microsoft, Cisco-backed immigration bill [Outsourcing] [Times of India]
(Times of India Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) NEW DELHI: US President Barrack Obama shot down an immigration reform bill proposed by Silicon Valley companies that aims to give 55,000 visas to foreigners with US doctorate and masters degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
The proposed bill, which was backed by companies like Microsoft, Apple, Cisco, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle, Qualcomm, as well as the US Chamber of Commerce and IEEE-USA, was supposed to fill jobs is US in case there were no Americans qualified for them. US tech companies have thousands of job vacancies in the technical departments but do not have enough people with the requisite skill sets to fill them.
As per a statement by the White House, the administration feels that the STEM Jobs Act is a "narrowly tailored proposal" and fails to meet Obama's long-term objective when it comes to immigration reforms.
However, the statement by the White House did say:
"The administration strongly supports legislation to attract and retain foreign students who graduate with advanced STEM degrees, to establish a start-up visa for foreign-born entrepreneurs to start businesses and create jobs, and to reform the employment-based immigration system to better meet the needs of the US economy."
The US House of Representatives voted 257-158 in favour of STEM Jobs Act in September, but it still failed to pass as two-thirds support is needed in order for it to pass. It will be fronted in the House once again this week and, if passed, will move to the Senate.
Earlier in September, software giant Microsoft had pushed for legislation in the US to get 20,000 supplementary H-1B visas to be allocated for foreign personnel with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. Along with that, it had asked the US Congress to reallocate 20,000 green cards for workers with these skills.
The company had proposed that the companies which use the H-1B visas from this supplementary pool should pay $10,000 for each employee who gets the visa, while green card approval will entail a fee of $15,000 on the company's part. If realised, this would translate to $500 million yearly or $5 billion over the next decade. This amount can be used to lay emphasis on improving quality of STEM courses from school level and onwards in US in order to stem the rot in the future.
The STEM Jobs Act of 2012 proposes that if 55,000 visas are not granted in any particular year, the remaining number of visas should be made available in subsequent years.
If the act is passed by the Senate, it will be ushered in at the expense of countries with low emigration levels to the US, so that the number of immigrants to the country remains constant but the talent bank rises.
(c) 2012 Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited
[ Back To SIP Trunking Home's Homepage ]