John Miano, the founder of the Programmers Guild and an attorney has called the OPT extension as a back-door H-1B visa increase. He has challenged it in court.
"The fact that we are reaching the H-1B cap at all in an economy that is terrible as the one we have clearly demonstrates that the H-1B numbers are too large," said Miano. "If H-1B usage were truly market-based, the visa numbers would go down close to zero in times like these." he said.
Napolitano is being asked by Grassley and Durbin whether the department is "considering, during this economic downturn, revising the rule to revert back to the 12-month limit" in place prior to 2008? "If not, why not?" they asked.
One organization that tracks month-to-month changes in U.S. tech employment data, TechServe Alliance reported that tech employment peaked at about 4 million in 2008; in January it was just over 3.9 million.
Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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