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September 23, 2005

H-1B Sign-On Letter from Companies, Associations and Academic Institutions

If you want to have your company name added to the letter please email me. Thanks, Mario;

The Honorable____________
United States Capitol
Washington, DC __________

Re: Increase the H-1B Cap!

Dear Congressman/Senator ____________:

We are writing to urge Congress to take action this year to address a critical issue threatening employers across all sectors of the American economy. On August 12, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) announced that the FY2006 numerical cap limiting the H-1B visa program for temporary professional workers had been exhausted. This means that our companies will lose access for over a year to highly educated foreign professionals vital to our businesses.

Professionals hired through the H-1B program represent a very small but important portion of our workforce. Examples include not only computer professionals, but also engineers, accountants, researchers, medical professionals, economists, and teachers. As our employees, these highly qualified professionals enable us to advance key job-creating projects, enter new markets, and provide enhanced benefits and services to the American public. Cutting off access to these professionals will only dramatically limit our competitiveness and strengthen overseas competition.

As U.S. employers, we look first to hire American workers. However, we also need access to the unique skill sets and expertise offered by the top talent from around the world. When we hire foreign professionals, we not only pay the same wages that we offer to American workers, but we also pay stiff fees, including a $1,500 training fee mandated for each H-1B petition and a $500 fraud prevention and detection fee. These funds contribute to the training and education of American workers in order to enhance our domestic talent pool, while also helping to root out unscrupulous employers. From 1998-2003, the training fees totaled $692 million and helped the federal government provide training and scholarships to more than 68,000 workers.

While targeted Congressional action last year helped reduce some of the pressure from the restrictive H-1B cap, we need a permanent solution that respects the fluctuating market demand for these skilled temporary professionals. Statistics over the past decade show that no matter the size of the cap, H-1B usage fluctuates with the normal ebb and flow of the economy. A modification of the cap so that it is in line with reality would prevent another year long H-1B blackout. Without Congressional action this year, the restrictive limits on this program will increasingly impede our ability to provide services to Americans and diminish our ability to access the job-creating talent necessary to our nation’s economic success.

We urge you to act this year to ensure continued access to these talented professionals.

Sincerely,

Posted by VisaLawyer at September 23, 2005 09:40 AM

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