Bill in Congress would curb L-1 visa use for foreign workers
A congressman calls the L-1 a "back door to cheap labor"
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- Legislation was introduced in Congress this week that would set curbs on the use of the L-1 visa, a controversial visa program that, like the H-1B visa, allows U.S. companies to bring in foreign workers.
The L-1 visa enables companies with subsidiaries abroad to transfer to the U.S. from other companies executives or workers with specialized skills. But critics contend that foreign outsourcing firms use it to import lower-paid workers who then replace higher-paid U.S. employees.
U.S. Rep. John Mica, (R-Fla.) called the L-1 visa a "back door to cheap labor" in his legislation. His bill would require that employees be transferred from their own subsidiaries and not from third-party outsourcers.
The bill's intent is to block foreign outsourcing firms, so-called "body shops," from using the visa to move foreign workers into U.S. positions. But the legislation may face opposition from all sides.
Mike Emmons, an Orlando-based activist who said he lost his consulting job because of L-1 visa, lobbied Mica heavily for action on the visa and said he's disappointed with Mica's legislative fix. Emmons said the legislation includes a large loophole that would allow a U.S. company to set up shop in India or some other country, hire workers there and then move those employees here.
"This is a pretty minuscule bill," said Emmons.
However, Vic Goel, a Greenbelt, Md.-based immigration attorney who represents high-tech companies, said the legislation could prevent a multinational firm from bringing in foreign workers to help clients. For instance, the foreign workers may have played a key role in software development and are needed to implement, service and maintain the software.
"The idea is to find a solution that promotes business and closes the door on the abusers," said Goel, explaining that such a solution could involve finding a way to differentiate between "project-based [work] vs. simple provisioning of warm bodies to fill seats."
According to Mica, there are currently more than 325,000 L-1 visa holders in the U.S.
H-1B visas allows foreign workers to take jobs in the U.S. for as long as six years. Someone with an L-1 visa can work in the U.S. for up to seven years.
Read more about IT Careers in Computerworld's IT Careers Topic Center.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- Osterman White Paper: The Need for Enterprise-Grade File Transfer
- Key trends in file transfer All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager: Online Product Demo Intelligent Investigation Manager optimizes fraud investigation and analysis and it dynamically coordinates and reports on cases, provides analysis and visualization, and enables more...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.