US needs comprehensive reform of H-1B system: NYT

Infosys' plan to hire 10,000 Americans is "less of a cause" for celebration than it appears as the need of the hour is a comprehensive H-1B reform than the pledge by the Indian technology giant to create jobs in the US, a leading American daily has said.

PTI| Updated: May 08, 2017, 16:19 PM IST
US needs comprehensive reform of H-1B system: NYT

New York: Infosys' plan to hire 10,000 Americans is "less of a cause" for celebration than it appears as the need of the hour is a comprehensive H-1B reform than the pledge by the Indian technology giant to create jobs in the US, a leading American daily has said.

Infosys has said it will hire 10,000 Americans in the next two years and open four centres in the US in a bid to woo the Trump administration, which has been critical of outsourcing firms for unfairly taking jobs away from US workers.

Commenting on Infosys' announcement, an editorial in the New York Times said this might seem like an early victory in President Donald Trump's 'Hire American' campaign, but it's less of a cause for celebration than it appears.

In the article titled 'A US Hiring Plan Falls Short of Reform,' the paper said the US needs comprehensive reform of the H1-B process more than announcements by companies to create jobs in the country as only reforms can address the systemic abuses in the visa program that brings in cheaper labor to fill American jobs or replace Americans.

"?individual corporate measures like Infosys' hiring of Americans, no matter how headline-grabbing, are no substitute for true reform to eliminate systemic abuses. Worse, by creating the appearance of change, they may actually entrench those problems," the editorial added.

The United States needs comprehensive reform of the H-1B system more than it needs Infosys' pledge of 10,000 new jobs. It also needs a president who understands that, the NYT said.

The editorial criticized President Trump for merely telling executive agencies to recommend reforms in the H-1B program instead of explicitly outlining what he wants to see changed about a system he has "pilloried.?

It said Infosys' pledge to hire 10,000 Americans "pales" in comparison to the roughly 85,000 H-1B visas that are granted each year and thousands of jobs that could go to Americans over the years if the H-1B system were reformed.?

Infosys is one of India's leading tech outsourcing companies and receives several thousand H-1B visas every year to bring in Indian programmers into the US.

Last month, at a White House briefing, an official in the Trump administration had said that a small number of giant outsourcing firms like TCS and Infosys unfairly corner the lion's share of H-1B visas by putting extra tickets in the lottery system that then naturally increases their chances of success in the lottery draw of the work visas.