A report issued last month by the National Foundation for American Policy reveals startling numbers related to the rate at which Indian visas are being denied for the H-1B and L-1 categories. The study indicates it has become far more difficult for Indian-born workers to be approved for those visas by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The raw numbers are alarming:
-H-1B denial rates for Indians rose from 2.8 percent in FY 2008 to 22.5 percent in FY 2009.
-Between FY 2006 and FY 2008 the denial rate for Indians was never higher than three percent; in the three years since it has been at least 10 percent.
-The rate of "Requests for Evidence" (RFEs) rose from 4 percent in FY 2004 to 35 percent in FY 2008. In FY 2011 the percent of RFE was at 26 percent.
The NFAP points out in its conclusion that USCIS "adjudicators and/or others at the agency have made it far more difficult for skilled foreign nationals to work in America." The result, of course, is that "this is causing companies to consider moving more work out of the United States to ensure more predictability and avoid the difficulties of the U.S. immigration system."
Indians account for approximately two-third of all H-1B applications received by U.S. embassies. In the last five years alone Indians have generted somewhere in the neighborhood of $200 million in fees. Indian students and workers have paid billions into U.S. taxes and social security.
Indications are that even in an absence of any change in immigration law or regulation, the denials rate for Indians spiked around FY 2008 and FY 2009. This comes as denial rates for China and European countries have remained low.
So what has happened?
This is certainly not by accident. It is premeditated and clearly illegal. There is nothing in our laws about profiling a nation, so if one country has double or triple the denial or RFE rate USCIS is not following regulations. Nowhere can they justify the discrepancy with any existing administrative policy.
Something must be done here. This should be taken to the highest level, with the U.S. Attorney General taking a look into the matter and perhaps opening an investigation.