Expect India Politicians to Capitalize on H-1B Visa News

Posted by: Bruce Einhorn on April 24, 2009

Indians already worried about a growing anti-outsourcing movement in the U.S. have another problem on their hands. Two U.S. senators are re-introducing a bill, originally proposed two years ago, to impose new restrictions on American companies hiring foreign workers on H-1B visas. According to my BusinessWeek colleague Moira Herbst, the bill - from Iowa Republican Chuck Grassley and Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin - went nowhere in 2007 but now, with unemployment above 8%, “has a better chance of passing.”

The timing of this move is especially interesting, coming smack in the middle of India’s elections. Many of these H-1B visas go to workers from India, and Indian politicians in the past few months have expressed concern about efforts to cut back on the controversial program. See for example my colleague Mehul Srivastava’s February BusinessWeek story about anger in India about the H-1B controversy. Back then, one Hindu nationalist leader was threatening a boycott of U.S. companies in retaliation. I don’t think anything came of that, but I think it’s safe to expect a lot of Indian politicians to pounce on this latest news and try to score some points locally by talking tough against the Americans.


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Reader Comments

Bob

April 24, 2009 03:54 PM

Indian are always good at talking. But I agree that NOTHING will come of it. India retaliate against US comapnies? That is a big joke!

Veerendra Jote

April 24, 2009 07:55 PM

Indian politicians don't care a damn about NRIs, they infact don't care about even resident Indian citizens.
Anyways H1B visas do come under purview of WTO in the sense they are required for companies outside to send workers accross US to work on projects the companies win.
Not allowing the same (or for that matter some other visa) would be tantamount to creating artificial barriers for trade.

md3

April 25, 2009 03:46 PM

Only utility company can bully their customers; and those company in India are NOT utility company.

rh mayo

April 26, 2009 09:25 AM

as a verbose practitioner of jingoistic arson do you have any other insights to offer besides lighting fires

Brandy

April 26, 2009 01:06 PM

This is an excellent bill that should be passed intact!

Why would anyone be against preventing fraud?
Hmmm, Unless.....

Gary

April 27, 2009 04:38 AM

Who cares about what Indian politicians think? India buys little from America and has no leverage whatsoever on the US. Besides, the senators are absolutely right to defend America's interest and prevent exploitation and abuse of America's H-1B program by Indian companies.

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BusinessWeek’s team of Asia reporters brings you the latest insights on business, politics, technology and culture from some of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing economies. Eye on Asia’s bloggers include Asia regional editor Bruce Einhorn, Tokyo reporter Ian Rowley, Korea bureau chief Moon Ihlwan, Asia News Editor and China Bureau Chief. Dexter Roberts, and Hong Kong-based Asia correspondent Frederik Balfour.

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