A Double Whammy in That Senate Appropriations Bill

By David North on August 7, 2010

While the Senate's effort to soothe restrictionists with some more Border Patrol agents and a couple of unmanned drones is an inadequate gesture, as Mark Krikorian's "Cheap Date" blog indicates, at least part of that supplemental appropriations package is quite commendable.

That relates to some of the funding for the additional enforcement – it will come from discouraging nonimmigrant worker programs, a small-scale double whammy.

The Senate package calls for $2,000 extra per H-1B visa from companies that have a majority of workers in that category. That will almost double the size of these fees. It will not hurt the Microsofts and Goldman Sachs (significant H-1B users); neither of those firms employ that high a proportion of H-1Bs.

There is also a provision for an extra $2,000 fee for multinational companies using the L-1 visa program to transfer their overseas employees to the U.S. I do not yet have the details on this but it sounds like an excellent idea.

One way to judge the significance of these increases is to listen to the complaints of the corporations affected. Some India-based firms known as body shops – middlemen in the high tech business – are really upset as this headline in yesterday's Wall Street Journal makes clear: "New U.S. Visa Fees Would Hit Indian Firms."

These firms apparently have not paid attention (and hopefully they will not) to a chilling comment I saw elsewhere on the net at something called "happyschoolsblog." The writer said "I don't think increase in fees by $2000 will drastically reduce the number of H-1B Visa applications. Additional $2000 in fees will be realized by the company by reducing the salary paid to the employees in contracting job [sic]."

I hope that’s illegal.

The Senate decided to spice up this mildly useful enhancement of border enforcement with a dash of what my wife calls adult toys; in this case the unmanned drone airplanes that will, one hopes, look for illegal aliens in places which cannot be reached easily by federal agents. I would rather exchange the sexy drones, presumably quite expensive, for something more down to earth, like more funds to detain and deport illegal aliens . . . but that would be asking the Senate to step into the real world.