The Democrats, and not the Republicans (Donald Trump) tabled the High-Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017. Zoe Lofgren, a Congressman and a Democrat, happened to introduce the bill on the 31st of January, 2017. So, while Trump’s election rhetoric involved an intent to hike H1B visa fees, the actual ‘credit’ for tabling the bill to the US Congress needs to be attributed to his opposition. And, considering the opinion of the Democrats and Trump have happened to coalesce on the H1B visa issue, the proposed bill seems likely to sail through.
Lofgren’s latest bill seeks to overhaul the H1B work visa program by near-doubling the minimum salary to $130K (from the existing $70K). Clearly, the intent is to make it difficult to replace US employees with offshore FTEs. I notice a stream of quasi-experts and analyst firms (with contorted research agendas and questionable opinion) stating this as a “body blow” and the “beginning of the end” for the Indian IT Services sector. And they can’t be more wrong.