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The year 1999 was summed up last month, by reporting that the Congress
has raised the H-1B visa cap from 65,000 to 115,000 for the fiscal year
(October 1, 1999 to September 30, 2000). Then I retorically asked,
wasn't it enough? Now iceberg tip is emerging . . .
Senator Abraham (R-MI) had been one of the leaders of the 1998 effort to raise this H-1B cap. Still it's not clear to me, whether he was aware in 1998 to the fact that the INS had been counting any issuance of H-1B visa (including a renewal and change of employer), although by law, only new H-1B visas that give that H-1B status to a person for the first time should count. Undeniably the INS disregarded this requirement, deliberately causing the cap to be reached quite earlier. . .
Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) believes that fraud so permeates the H-1B program that if INS would get its house in order, there would be no need for additional numbers.
Apparently Senator Abraham also "realized" this flaw. He has written a tough letter to the Attorney General, Janet Reno, raising serious questions about the counting procedures of the INS. This letter comes after many unsuccessful attempts by the Senator and his staff to obtain the accurate information about the INS methods for determining the count. The "Service" has admitted that it had problems correctly counting, but made a pretext about some "systems errors" absolutely disregarding the requirement to count only new issuance of H-1B visas. According to Senator Abraham,
that these instructions were seriously flawed
in a way that systematically inflated the count"
Moreover, Senator Abraham has requested the contract for the KPMG audit, INS instructions for the audit, all contract information between the INS and the contractor responsible for performing the H-1B count, identification of the personnel involved in the count, and all guidelines on counting issued by the INS. He requested that this information be provided for all years back to fiscal year 1996!
Senator Abraham not only refers to the systemic miscounting. There is an evidence that the INS has been improperly including other cases in the cap. For example, people have been denied O and L visas because they were subject to the cap, which had been reached. In fact, NO annual limit exists on these visas!
This evidence gathered by Senator Abraham clearly demonstrates that the problems with the H-1B count are not caused solely by some computer error, but are in fact the result of widespread discrepancies between stated INS policy and how the agency actually conducts its internal business.
I for one do not believe that this concern would ever lead to an improvement in the INS's management of the H-1B program. The raising of the cap was good to everyone. The INS asked for budget increase. The Employers wished to get more white collar slaves. The Senators could give them all what they wanted. And on the opt of it the immigration lawyers were obviously happy. The increasing demand and the fake shortage of visas should yield additional profits. . .
Anyway and regardless of the forthcoming situation, the immigration lawyers would ever benefit. In the near term, the above referenced letter will surely give powerful ammunition to those who might consider suing the INS if they announce the cap is hit and they cannot back it up with reliable data. Moreover, they could also allege that INS miscounted H-1B visas in previous years. . .
In early January, Senate Judiciary Committee staffers reported that Committee Chairman, Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Spencer Abraham will introduce a bill which would (among other things) add 40,000 to 50,000 H-1B numbers to the present (higher) cap for a period of two years and abolish country quotas from the employment-based immigrant visa system. The Hatch-Abraham bill will be voted upon by the Committee before the end of February and by the full Senate in early spring.
In sum, those hypoctite Amerikans are now observed naked. . . as we have illustrated to you month after month.
Will YOU stop this ultimate abuse?
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