Rounding up the Usual Suspects!
New Delhi 20 2015: IT's paranoia time again in the US: Jack B Palmer, who filed a high profile visa fraud case against Infosys-- subsequently settled out of court -- has alleged that Indian tech professionals coming to work in the US under H-1B workers, have few skills and learn of the job. He told the Senate Judiciary Committee during a Congressional hearing on immigration, March 17:
" H-1B workers that are replacing the US workers have minimal skills and little to no business knowledge. The idea of knowledge transfer is absurd; Americans are training these people on how to do their job," Palmer said, adding, "This is just cold hard facts. As statistics can validate, most of these workers have only a bachelor's degree: how is this specialised talent?"
"This is wide spread within the United States. Americans are being displaced at record numbers. Foreigners are working full-time jobs in the US without paying income taxes and are not qualified"
Full transcript of Palmer statement here
Palmer's statement -- consistent with elements in the US political spectrum who look for 'foreign' whipping boys to explain the lack of competitiveness of US-born professionals and make headlines usually around election time has been dismissed by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) as 'untrue'
Says R Chandrashekhar, President, NASSCOM: “Indian companies and their employees working in the US are deeply committed to the US marketplace and are important contributors in their local communities as well as the country as a whole. Apart from the cutting-edge work, Indian corporate and individual citizens are deeply ingrained in the country’s everyday activities. We feel that the allegations made are completely misplaced and rhetorical. Indian IT-ITeS employees going onsite are both educated and skilled and are subjected to laws that govern that particular visa category. NASSCOM will continue to work with different stakeholders in India and the US to address this issue and ensure that Indian companies and their employees continue to deliver the best of the technologies and technological advancements to the US”.
NASSCOM also refutes the allegation that Indian professionals are somehow snatching jobs for which Americans are linng up:
"The recently released US labour statistics highlighted that there was a need for the skills that Indian professionals possess and that the unemployment rate in this sector is around 3 percent. In today’s labor market, Indian employees fill a critical need — particularly in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. The strengthening India and US bilateral ties recently resulted in the US government’s agreement to discuss elements required in both countries to pursue an India-US Totalisation agreement."
"The US influences the Indian IT industry in a large way as it is the largest geographic market for India, accounting 62% of the total industry exports. Over the years, foreign workers have been brought in to the US to meet the shortage of skilled workers in the sector. By leveraging Indian talent – American companies and American economy would be positively impacted by filling shortages and keep their competitive edge in global marketplace."
Full text of NASSCOM statement here