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Dear Editor,

Quoting you ...............

A common misconception is that an employee who is waiting for his green card is required to work for the petitioning employer.


Some consider H-1Bs to be a form of indentured servitude binding the alien to an employer. The reality of the business world may be that an employer would not continue the labor certification process for someone who is not a current employee. This is a business decision. It is not the law.

............. End Quote.

 A couple of points to ponder in a market that changes rapidly:

(1) Which employer is willing to sponsor someone for a green card first? The person whose GC is being pursued may not be useful to the business by the time the process finishes. It is highly unlikely that any employer will pursue this angle.

(2) Since the interest in an employee needs to be current and the future potential of continuing the employment be adequate if not phenomenal, process will necessarily be kept active only if the employee continues with the employer.

 Given this, a green card process will necessarily be started and kept alive only for those employees that a business values. And since the risk of terminating the employment and the green card process is constantly imminent, attributing H1B employment to indentured servitude seems justifiable.

 To ensure that the process and people are not abused and to really achieve the goals of fair employment, equal opportunity etc., it is imperative to revamp the employment based green card process for US to maintain competitive edge. While, a lot of opinions have been aired on what is a fair process, from the perspective of one who has endured this process in the recent past, here come a few words of wisdom:

 (0) Quotas for employment-based immigration should be eliminated. Numbers should be driven purely by the market. Over a period of time, this type of immigration will lose its demand.

 (1) H1B - truly temporary employment with a finite time limit (say 3 years - to be set in stone): People coming for this type of employment must be offered mobility in choosing employer/location, spared from paying social security and any other taxes that immigrants cannot benefit from. Should this person change his/her mind about temporary employment, he/she will have to pay the taxes in arrears (say with interest) to be considered for a conversion to GC.

 (2) Direct GC: Sponsoring employer establishes intention to keep the immigrant employed for at least ?? years (pick a small number) and then allow the employee to go out to open-market employment. Any abuse by the employer (not paying correct wages, etc.) will allow the immigrant to go for open market employment without affecting the status. Will pay all defined taxes.

 Simplest form and my gut is that it will be very effective.

 It cannot simply be a business decision or law. There are humans involved and hence it should have a human side.