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'Immigration bill to hit American competitiveness abroad'

September 24, 2013 12:13 IST

Supporting India's concerns on the immigration reform bill, an eminent Indian-American has asked US lawmakers to make the necessary changes in the pending legislation, which if passed, among other things would badly hit the global competitiveness of American companies.

"While the Senate has made important progress, their bill contains provision; that will result in unintended consequences, damaging American businesses and aiding our competitors abroad," Ashok Mago, of the Greater Dallas Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, wrote in a letter to Congressmen and Senators ahead of the US visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

"Additional and arbitrary layers of red tape and increased fees will make it much more difficult for businesses to hire skilled STEM workers through the H-1B visa program.

This program, designed to give businesses access to a global talent pool with STEM expertise, is a vital component of efforts to address the STEM worker shortage in America," said Mago, a founding member of the chamber.

The bill's so-called outplacement provision is discriminatory and will make it impossible for many businesses to recruit the high-skilled workers they need to perform highly technical tasks onsite from the global labor pool, potentially driving tens of thousands of American jobs overseas, he argued. 

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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