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Don’t allow H1B holder to replace American: USCIS

Don’t allow H1B holder to replace American: USCIS
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US Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS director L Francis Cissna has said he would be happy if American law prohibited the replacement of an...

Washington: US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) director L Francis Cissna has said he would be happy if American law prohibited the replacement of an American by an H1B visa holder.

"I would really love it if Congress would pass a provision prohibiting American workers being replaced by H1B workers. I could draft it myself, probably right now, you know?" Cissna said in response to a recent query. Any immigration attorney will tell you it's getting tougher to obtain an H1B visa or an extension of the visa. Extreme vetting of applications and a higher rejection rate are now the norm.

For visa applications (including for extensions) made after September 11, USCIS officials also have the power to reject outright applications in certain circumstances, such as when required evidence is not submitted at the first instance. Cissna's remarks came at an "Immigration Newsmaker" event organised in Washington, DC, on August 15 by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), a think tank with a purported anti-immigration stance.

A transcript of the event was recently made public on the CIS website. Cissna's statement sent ripples across the Indian diaspora. According to a USCIS report, during fiscal 2017, 75.6% of the total 3.65 lakh applicants granted H1B visas, including for continued employment, were born in India.

Cissna said immigration reform should be directed towards ensuring the most qualified people, who the US needs, should get the visas. "A simple fix, for example, just banning the ability of employers to fire American workers and replace them with H1Bs," he said

In fact, this process has already begun. The past few years have seen a spike in requests for evidence (RFEs) by USCIS officials during processing of H1B applications.

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