Tougher H1B Restrictions on Companies Receiving TARP Funds Means Improved Business Prospect for Small Consulting Companies
The US Senate has passed an amendment to the legislation allowing the federal government to provide Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) funds to financial institutions which may restrict or eliminate their ability to sponsor foreign workers under the H1b visa program. The aforementioned amendment would automatically cause a financial institution which may receive TARP funds to become an "H1b Dependent Employer" whether or not they possessed 15% H1b visa employees on their payroll. Such a notion will force these financial institutions to make certain promises if they wished to hire an employee on H1B visa. These promises include, inter alia, that it had not displaced a US worker 90 days before and after the filling of a Labor Condition Application (LCA) within the same occupational classification filled by the H1b alien. This amendment may very well cause these financial institutions from abandoning hiring H1b visas as many of them have experienced layoffs. I predict that such legislation while appearing to have a "protective" facade of the welfare of the US worker, it in fact will not limit the hiring of H1b workers generally and will as a matter of fact cost these financial institutions more in locating competent staff during some of the most challenging economic times.
Unfortunately, this is a political statement by the US Senate which has little to do with restoring confidence in the market place or to solve the growing unemployment rate currently experienced by the US labor force. This amendment is nothing but a political statement by the US Senate to appease special interest groups who are opposed to the H1b visa program. The general populous has a mistaken belief that H1b visa workers are the cause of the high unemployment rate experienced by the US. The truth of the matter is that H1b visa workers do not receive less wages; to the contrary they cost the employer a great deal of resources, both monetarily and otherwise to secure their employment. First employers wishing to employ foreign workers on H-1b visas must first pay prevailing wages; such employers must also pay legal fees as well as exorbitant governmental processing fees ( which could be as $2,320 for each H1b worker) to process their cases; in addition, employers hiring H1b workers also incur into other soft costs associated with record keeping requirements. Since it actually costs more to hire workers under the H1b program, it follows that employers will actually only do so when they are unable to find competent US workers to fill these positions.