By Pam Prather
eBay, EMC, General Electric, Hewlett-Packard Co., Intel, Microsoft, Texas Instruments, Boeing, Dow Chemical, Caterpillar, Chevron USA.
Reads like a Fortune 500 list, doesn’t it? These are big companies. Big, American companies. They matter to our economy. If we want to continue with this agonizingly slow recovery, we need to pay attention to their wants and needs. And what is a common ‘want’ that they report? A better visa system.
For many Americans, hiring foreign workers seems counterintuitive to creating jobs for U.S. citizens. But could corporations like those listed be so successful if they didn’t know how to run a business? Recently, these companies and others wrote a joint letter to President Obama regarding their frustration with a recent uptick in L1B visa denials (from 7% in 2005 to 27% in 2011). They indicate that the “U.S. is creating ‘unprecedented delays and uncertainty’ around L-1 visas, which are used for intra-company transfers of employees from foreign offices to U.S. offices”. They also say “[s]uch delays or denials do not enhance compliance or enforcement and do nothing except disrupt carefully-laid business plans and create significant costs to the company and the American economy”.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t think we want to disrupt the business plans of giant U.S. companies who continue to struggle for recovery – and growth – in this sluggish economy. We WANT them to do well, to keep their offices here in the U.S. open, and to hire whomever they decide is going to make their business thrive. Study after study shows that the free-flow of highly-skilled employees is imperative to a successful capitalist market system. Why would the USCIS, through the Department of Homeland Security, act in opposition to our best chance for continued economic recovery?
Here’s hoping the President reads his mail.
Consult an immigration attorney for more information about L1B (and other) visas.