H-1B Visa Process Ripe for Abuse
Even without fraud, the H-1B program is "ripe for abuse," Hira said. Employers don't have to search for an American to hire before hiring a foreign worker under an H-1B visa, he said. They're also not compelled to pay the prevailing wage, so foreign workers often end up in low-paid jobs, in unfamiliar territory, without any chance to change jobs to improve their lot, he said.Grassley and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) co-sponsored a bill to address weaknesses in the H-1B program, but Hira doesn't expect progress any time soon. "The high-tech industry and universities, who employ most of these workers in the United States, are fighting tooth and nail against any kind of reform," Hira said. "As industry keeps pressing to raise the number [of H-1Bs] higher and higher, I expect we'll see a reaction. But nothing seems to be moving right now."
When an H-1B worker resigns, the visa remains with the employer, so the worker usually has to return home.