Despite evidence of damage to the GOP from the anti-immigrant stance many of its members took in the run-up to the 2006 election the presidential candidates are taking the irrational hardline nativist stance against immigration policy.
As mayor of NYC Giuliani is reported to have been supportive of both documented and undocumented immigrants, however his views now that he is competing on a national stage rather than the very diverse NYC stage, have taken a turn to the right.
With a nod to the xenophobic nativists in the GOP with his references to respecting “culture” and an attempt to conflate the Southern US border with the vague “war” America is engaged in Giuliani has mapped out the typical GOP position.
It’s a position that will doom his party in the long run but unfortunately may doom immigration reform if it cannot be passed before next year when the Presidential race will really heat up.
Microsoft corporation and other technology companies are trying to convince congress to raise or remove the H1B visa cap. They’ll likely have more luck getting congress to add some additional visas to the cap than they will have getting congress to eliminate the cap – at least in the short term.
The damage being done to US companies by the increasingly restrictive policies with regards to all immigrants but particularly technology companies is severe. Unfortunately, congress does not generally have a lot of foresight and only after other nations surpass the US in technology innovation and production will anything be done and at that point it may be too late.
The USCIS announced that 150000 H1B visa petitions were received on April 2nd. They will reject H1B visa petitions received after April 3rd (except for the cap exempt petitions) and the petitions received on April 2nd and April 3rd will be subject to a lottery drawing to determine which petitions will receive a visa number.
Cap exempt applicants may still apply all others will have to apply on April 1, 2008 for an October 1, 2008 start date.
If you are adversly effected by this situation it would be a good idea to have your employer or prospective employer contact their representative in Congress to ask that this situation be remedied. Congress will be working on immigration reform this summer and H1B visa cap relief will be a part of what they are working on.