H-1B holders ‘vulnerable to abuse’

Washington: A US think tank has claimed that H-1B workers are “vulnerable to abuse” and frequently placed in “poor working conditions”, seeking reforms like substantial increase in wages to those holding the visa, popular among Indian IT professionals. In a report, the South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council also sought safeguards like providing fair working conditions, and greater employment rights for those working under the visa programme. The report comes days after US President Donald Trump said he is soon coming out with reforms that will give H-1B visa holders certainty to stay in America and an easy pathway to citizenship.

“H1-B holders in the US can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the US,” Trump had tweeted on Friday. The H-1B visa, popular among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

The think tank report has been authored by Ron Hira from Howard University and head, South Asia Center of the Atlantic Council, Bharat Gopalaswamy. “H-1B workers themselves are underpaid, vulnerable to abuse, and frequently placed in poor working conditions. “Adopting safeguards to ensure H-1B workers are paid appropriate wages, provided fair working conditions would not only improve their lives, but would also better protect US workers,” it said.

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