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U.S. GAO Calls for the Scrutiny of H-1B Visa Program

In a mammoth report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office calls for closer Congressional scrutiny of the country’s H-1B visa process, spotlighting a number of problems with the program commonly used by high-tech companies to bring foreign workers to the US.

Country of Birth for Approved H-1B Workers, FY 2000–FY 2009

H-1B visas are controversial among labor groups who worry that the visas take jobs from qualified American workers. On the other side of the issue, companies including Microsoft call the program an important mechanism for bringing technical talent into the country, and they’ve called for relaxing restrictions on the number of employees who can be brought in each year under H-1B visas.

As noted in a post by The Hill, the GAO report was less than decisive on the issue of whether the cap should be relaxed. But the report called for changes at the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor related to the program, and said Congress should take a closer look at H-1B visas as it takes up immigration reform.

For more details, refer this GAO’s report (pdf).


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