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H-1B visa hike: US lawmaker doubtful

May 23, 2007 14:27 IST
A top US Democratic lawmaker, known for his pro-immigration credentials, has cast doubts on the ability of the Congress to finalise a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform law that aims to raise the H1B Visa cap by 50,000 to 115,000.

"What people are seriously going to get down to, I don't know. There are a whole series of economic issues out here that are very complicated and I really do not have a clear sense at this point" remarked Congressman Jim McDermott, Democratic Co-Chair of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.

"This town at this point is getting ready for a new election. Everything that happens in Washington DC between now and November 2008 is about the 2008 election" the Democratic lawmaker from the State of Washington said.

The bipartisan immigration legislation in the  Senate has not only tried to come to terms with some 11 to 12 million illegal immigrants, including some 280,000 Indians, but also try and raise the H1B Visa cap by 50,000 to 115,000 and perhaps to a maximum of 180,000
down the line.

McDermott and Congressman Joe Wilson, Republican Co-Chair of the India Caucus were present at a briefing by groups representing Indians and Asians at Capitol Hill on what ought to be done by way of a "comprehensive" immigration reform  legislation.

"I personally think that we need immigrants" he added in response to a querry on H1B visas from the PTI. The members of Congress were briefed by representatives of Immigration Voice, South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow and Asian American Hotel Owners Association on the Senate version of the Immigration Bill.

Democrats are planning to ensure that more visas would be available for family members of permanent residents and US citizens.
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