Silicon Valley Worker Leads Charge To Overhaul Employment-Based Visas

SAN JOSE (KCBS) – A bill is working its way through Capitol Hill that would do away with country quotas for employment-based visas. It’s legislation with deep ties to the Bay Area: not only does Silicon Valley employ many of the workers that are in the country on H-1B visas, but a high tech worker in Silicon Valley is helping to lead this charge for change.

Anand Sundaram, one of the founders of the Santa Clara-based Immigration Voice, has even garnered the support of Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), who co-authored the legislation.

KCBS’ Mark Seelig Reports:

Right now, country “quotas” factor into the H-1B visa decision process. Specifically, some countries – like China and India – are deemed by the U.S. as oversubscribed, meaning a qualified candidate from one of those countries has to wait longer for his or her employment-based visa, while candidates from undersubscribed countries jump to the head of the line.

The quotas are decades old, and now translate into years-long waits for some candidates.

That might change, depending on the outcome of the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act, which is working its way through Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives voted 389-15 to approve the legislation in late November.

Its fate in the Senate remains unclear at this point.

“All we are trying to do is realign them in such a way that countries with high demand are treated the same ways as countries with no demand,” reasoned Sundaram.

He estimates he has spent more than 6 years as a novice lobbyist, with multiple visits to Washington, D.C. fighting for his cause.

“Going from office to office, meeting great senators and congressmen and congresswomen,” he recalled.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Clarence

    How about creating a “Campus For Visa” type system??? While there might be a lot of highly skilled workers from other countries right now, and if these companies, who make a lot of money, how about “creating trainning programs” to train AMERICAL workers who are currently unemployed (such as myself), to performed the necessary work ….. so you “reinvest in AMERICANS who are unemployed”??? For every AMERICAN a company that would pay to train an unemployed AMERICAN (such as myself), then you might be able to get a visa for 1-2 years of a Non-American, so that once that company would be finished trainning AMERICANS (such as myself), then I could, once again, be gainfully employeed??? Let’s hear what others have to say about this !!!

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