BusinessWeek report on the campaign of two US senators to get answers to how H-1B work visas are actually being used. Yesterday Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Richard Durbin (D-IL) sent a letter [PDF] to nine Indian outsourcing firms that, among them, snapped up 30% of the H-1B visas issued last year.[ US Senators Question Indian Firms Over H-1Bs]
The big omission in the letter is that they didn't look at how H-1b helps folks get green cards who might not otherwise get them. For many of these guys, those valuable residency rights are the brass ring that is being dangled in front of them.
I'd also like to seem them look at major federal contractors like Microsoft, Oracle, HP, Price Waterhouse Coopers.
They really ought to have an auction for whatever of these H-1b visas they allow—I think they'd be surprised at how high the revenue would be—and how by restricting the supply, they could increase those revenues. There is also an urgent need for bonding requirements(basically an insurance policy so the public doesn't take all the risk if a visa holder helps blow up a building or leak sensitive technology to a foreign power).
Still, it is positive to see the Senate paying attention to this issue at all.