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H-1B visas get political highlight in Vivek Ramaswamy’s feedback

September 18, 2023

H-1B visas appeared within the information this weekend when GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy stated the system must be changed, in accordance with media stories. 

Such visas are used to carry extremely expert employees, resembling tech employees, to the US. The variety of visas are capped and a lottery is held each time the variety of these in search of such visas is larger than the cap. 

“The lottery system must be changed by precise meritocratic admission,” Ramaswamy stated in an announcement to Politico. “It’s a type of indentured servitude that solely accrues to the advantage of the corporate that sponsored an H-1B immigrant. I’ll intestine it.” 

Politico additionally reported that Ramaswamy’s personal firm used H-1B visas 29 occasions. Ramaswamy responded to that in a put up on X (previously Twitter): 

“@Politico tried to play ‘gotcha’ by saying I wish to intestine the H1-B system though my corporations have used it to rent international graduates from prime US universities. Effectively, US vitality sector rules are badly damaged, however I nonetheless use water & electrical energy. Seems I really perceive the issues I wish to reform: the international visa ‘lottery’ makes no sense & the H1-B regime is a type of indentured servitude that’s a product of company lobbying. I’ll lastly repair it.” 

H-1Bs have come up politically beforehand this yr. 

In July, a invoice was launched that will double the variety of H-1B visas out there to 130,000 from 65,000 as we speak, though nothing has occurred since then to the invoice, HR 4647. 

However whereas the invoice is designed to carry a rise within the variety of wanted tech employees, it’s unlikely to truly get handed, stated Mark Roberts, CEO of the TechServe Alliance, an trade commerce group for IT and engineering staffing companies in an interview with SIA for a separate story. Immigration is such a politically charged topic at the moment that shifting ahead any laws is unlikely, Roberts stated. 

Contingent workforce patrons have additionally been comparatively quiet about H-1Bs as of late. Daybreak McCartney, VP of the contingent workforce methods council, stated discussions over H-1Bs have quieted down amongst patrons because the final election. 

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