Feb. 19, 2017 Blumbers

Outsourcing to India Threatened

On Feb. 14, 2017, NPR’s Julie McCarthy wrote “Indian IT Outsourcers Anxious Over Potential Changes To H1-B Visas” about legislation from the new administration possibly ending the H1B visa and green card programs. Stephen Yale-Loehr of Cornell University said that last year  “U.S. companies that sought to bring highly skilled workers to the U.S. filed 236,000 petitions that went into a lottery for just 85,000 H1-B visas, the legal cap.”

“One bill proposes more than doubling the minimum wage of H1-B holders, which by law is set at $60,000. Critics argue the H1-B has been misused to displace American workers, and that there has been an incentive to prefer Indian IT workers because they are cheaper.  Shailesh Chitnis, with the data mining and analysis company Compile, says that while the median salary for all H1-B holders is $71,000, most but not all Indian outsourcers pay below that. If they had to double salaries, Chitnis says, Indian IT companies would have to change their 20-year-old business model.” American companies may be forced to hire citizens at fairer market rates like $120,000.

“Shevendra Singh with India’s National Association of Software Services Companies, or NASSCOM, refutes allegations that Indian companies are dislocating American workers or supplying low-paid labor.”

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