A spokesperson for Wipro has claimed in today’s Deccan Herald that the company had not received any letter from Senators Charles Grassley and Richard Durbin on the H1B visa issue. Yet. For Wipro’s benefit, and the other eight companies involved, we publish the letter the lawmakers have sent Infosys head, Nandan Nilekani.
Nandan M. Nilekani
Chief Executive Officer
Infosys Technologies Limited
6607 Kaiser Drive
Fremont, California 94555
Dear Mr. Nilekani
As members of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Refugees, we have a responsibility to oversee and evaluate our country’s visa policies. We have been concerned about reported fraud and abuse of the H-1B and L visa programs, and their impact on American workers. We are also concerned that the program is not being used as Congress intended.
While some Members of Congress have focused on increasing the annual cap of the H-1B program, we believe it is important to understand how H-1B visas are being used by companies in the United States. We have received helpful data from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service with regard to H-1B visa approvals in 2006 for the top 200 participating companies. Your company was one of the top companies on the list. Therefore, we are requesting your cooperation in providing additional statistics and information on your use of H-1B visa workers.
First, some groups, such as the Programmers Guild, have analyzed the wages paid to H-1B visa holders. They have found that the average annual salary of foreign workers is significantly lower than that of new U.S. graduates.
Second, a number of consulting firms reportedly recruit foreign workers and then outsource the individuals to other job sites or companies. Many of the top 20 companies that used H-1B visas in 2006 are firms, such as yours, that specialize in offshore outsourcing.
Third, a number of firms have allegedly laid off American workers while continuing to employ H-1B visa holders. The American people are concerned about such lay offs at a time when the demand for visa issuances and the recruitment of foreign workers appear to be increasing.
Because of these concerns, we seek your cooperation in answering the following questions:
# How many United States citizens do you employ in the United States?
# Is your company an H-1B dependent employer?
# How many visa petitions did you submit to the Citizenship and Immigration Service for Fiscal Year 2007?
# Of the total number of petitions requested, how many have been approved for Fiscal Year 2007, if known?
# How many H-1B visa holders is your company currently employing? What percentage of your total workforce are H-1B visa holders?
# What is the average age of the H-1B visa holders that your company currently employs?
# What is the average number of years of experience of your employed H-1B visa holders?
Please describe your efforts to recruit Americans for the positions for which you employ H-1B workers.
# What is the average wage of your company’s H-1B visa holders? What is the median wage? What is the highest and the lowest salaries for those H-1B visa holders currently employed by your company?
# What is the average wage of your company’s workers who are United States citizens in the same occupations?
# Of the 4,908 visas your company received in 2006, how many of those workers are currently employed and paid by Infosys Technologies Limited?
# Of the 4,908 visas your company received in 2006, how many were outsourced to other companies and how many employees’ salaries were paid for by a firm other than Infosys Technologies Limited?
# Has your company experienced any layoffs in the United States in the past year? Any lay offs in 2005? If so, how many people lost their jobs?
# If your company has laid off workers in the United States, what job positions were part of that lay off?
# If your company has laid off workers in the United States, how many of those workers were H-1B visa holders?
# If your company has laid off workers in the United States, did any H-1B visa holders replace those dislocated workers, or take over any of the laid off employee’s job responsibilities?
We appreciate your cooperation, and respectfully request that you respond to our questions no later than May 29, 2007.
Charles E. Grassley
United States Senator
Richard J. Durbin
United States Senator