Amigos’ New Enemy – Software Coolies

Who’d have thought the U.S. government would draw upon the assistance of Indian software coolies to stem the inflow of amigos from across the Southern border.

Here, read this excerpt from the NYT:

A Senate bill approved Thursday night by unanimous consent would pay for more security along the Mexico border by raising fees for companies from India that operate in the United States and hire so many Indian workers that they have been criticized for violating the spirit of American immigration law.

The $600 million spending bill would send 1,500 more Border Patrol agents, customs inspectors and other law enforcement officials to the Southwest border, finance additional aerial drones to monitor remote desert regions and build two operating bases close to the border to help reduce illegal immigration and drug smuggling.

….Republicans had proposed paying for the beefed-up security by tapping into stimulus money. But Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said his staff had come up with an alternative that would not hurt American workers: raising the visa application fees paid by any companies with more than 50 people in which more than half the work force has H-1B or L visas that are intended for skilled foreign workers.

Senate aides said four Indian companies would qualify for the significantly higher fees: Tata, Infosys, Wipro and Mahindra Satyam, all of which operate in the United States and are criticized as “body shops” because they provide outsourcing of Indian professionals to American companies. Large American high-tech corporations, which bring the bulk of the skilled immigrants into the United States, would not be affected since the vast majority of their work forces are made up of Americans.

India’s software association Nasscom is crying that it’s indirect protectionism and estimates the impact on Indian firms between $200 million-250 million per year.

Other than whining, can the Som Mittal-headed Nasscom really do anything about this coming hike in Coolie Visa fees?

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