Washington: Acknowledging that there is a "lot of misinformation" about H-1B, a top American Senator has said that this popular work visa, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, has benefited the US.
Last month, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order for tightening the rules of the H-1B visa programme to stop "visa abuses".
Orrin Hatch, a Republican Senator from Utah, said he has been a long proponent of reforms in the H-1B visas.
"There's a lot of misinformation out there about the intent and effect of the H-1B programme. I think it's important for us to understand that overall the programme does a lot of good for our country," Hatch said during a Congressional hearing this week.
"We just need to make sure it's used correctly. That's what I'd like to do," Hatch said during the confirmation hearing for Lee Francis Cissna, for the position of Director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
"I've long been a proponent of high-skilled immigration reform. Our H-1B programme is badly outdated. It doesn't provide enough high-skilled workers to meet demand. And it doesn't do enough to tamp down various abuses," he said.
The Republican Senator from Utah is author of Immigration Innovation Act, or I-Squared Act.
It "attacks each of these problems head on," he said adding that he is preparing it for reintroduction in the near future.
Hatch asked Cissna if he agreed with him that the intent of the H-1B programme is to enable employers to fill jobs for which there is a shortage of American labour and to hire workers with the skill sets employers need to grow their businesses?
"I do agree with that principle, yes," Cissna added.
"Will you commit to work with me to reform the (H-1B) programme to make it easier for employers to hire the high-skilled workers they need, and harder for bad actors to misuse the system?" Hatch asked.
"I will absolutely commit to working with you on that. Those are all appropriate goals for the programme. Yes," Cissna said.
Trump said his administration is going to enforce 'Hire American' rules that are designed to protect jobs and wages of workers in the US.
The executive order also called upon the Departments of Labour, Justice, Homeland Security, and State to take action against fraud and abuse of our visa programmes. (PTI)