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Senate committee holds employment immigration reform hearing

NASDAQ CEO Robert Griefeld appeared in a Senate hearing this week to discuss immigration reform. The NASDAQ chief told lawmakers that studies indicate that for every employee hired under an H-1B visa technology companies in the United States increase overall employment by five workers. The ratio of increased employment is based upon research from the National Federation for American Policy.

Immigration law allows for a limited number of H-1B visas for professional workers who have at least a bachelor's degree. An H-1B visa is a business and employment based visa that allows foreign nationals to live and work in Florida, or any other state for a certain amount of time. The visa is a non-immigrant type visa. A separate type of visa, known as an L-1 visa may be available for certain executives and managers of a company to transfer to a U.S. based affiliate. The L-1 visa program was also addressed at the Senate hearing this week.

Ronil Hira, an Associate Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute of Technology told the lawmakers both the H-1B visa and L-1 visa programs need an overhaul. The programs are intended to allow foreign nationals to live and work in this country to compliment U.S. workers.

Vice President of Immigration Voice, Puneet Arora recanted the story of a Wharton graduate who returned to his native country after graduation due to frustration with U.S. immigration policy. The Wharton graduate had an idea for a business and founded that business overseas in 2007. The company is rapidly growing and has created over 400 jobs with a growth rate of roughly 70 jobs each month.

Hira told the Senators the H-1B and L-1 visa programs "are clearly displacing and denying opportunities to American workers."

The hearing was held Tuesday before the Senate Judiciary's immigration subcommittee.

Source: Economic Times, "For every H-1B visa, US technology companies hire 5 workers: NASDAQ," 30 Jul 2011

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