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特朗普下令修改H-1B工作签证政策

更新时间:2017-4-20 10:53:33 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How Trump’s ‘Hire American’ Order May Affect Tech Worker Visas
特朗普下令修改H-1B工作签证政策

President Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that directs federal agencies to review employment immigration laws to promote “Hire American” policies.

特朗普总统周二签署了一项行政命令,指示联邦机构检讨移民雇佣法规,以促进“雇用美国人”政策的实施。

The order makes no immediate changes to work visa programs but tells the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to study existing laws and procedures and recommend changes.

该命令对工作签证项目没有立即的影响,但要求劳工部、司法部、国土安全部和国务院研究当前的法律和程序,并提出变更建议。

In the case of one program, H-1B temporary visas, the order directs the agencies to suggest changes to help ensure that the visas are awarded to the most skilled, best-paid immigrant workers. “Right now, H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery, and that’s wrong,” Mr. Trump said at the signing in Kenosha, Wis.

以H-1B临时签证项目为例,总统的行政命令指示相关机构提出变更建议,以帮助确保这类签证发放给了技术最娴熟、酬劳最丰厚的移民员工。“目前,H-1B签证的发放采取的是完全随机的抽签形式,这是错误的,”特朗普在威斯康星州基诺沙的签署仪式上说。

The order also calls for a crackdown on fraud and abuse in the current system of work visas — which the agencies had already signaled they would do.

该命令还呼吁打击当前工作签证制度中存在的欺诈和滥用行为。相关机构已发出信号,表示会照指示行动。

What is the H-1B program, and why is the president focused on it?

什么是H-1B项目,总统为什么把重点放在它上面?

The H-1B program grants 65,000 work visas a year to foreigners, with 20,000 more visas granted to foreigners with advanced degrees and an unlimited number of extra visas available for universities, teaching hospitals and other nonprofit organizations. The program is aimed at highly skilled workers, and most of the visas are awarded to technology companies, although other specialty industries such as fashion also use the visas. (Melania Trump, the first lady, worked as a model on an H-1B visa.)

H-1B项目每年向外国人发放6.5万个工作签证,另外2万个面向拥有高级学位的外国人,大学、教学医院和其他非营利机构还可申请额外的数量不限的签证。该项目针对的是高技术人才,大部分签证都发放给了科技公司,不过其他专业性行业,比如时尚业,也使用这类签证(第一夫人梅拉尼娅·特朗普[Melania Trump]当模特时就拿的是H-1B签证)。

Under federal law, employers that use a large number of H-1B workers are supposed to document that they tried to hire Americans for the jobs. All H-1B employers are also required to pay prevailing wages to the immigrant workers who receive the visas.

按照联邦法律,雇用大量H-1B员工的雇主应该用书面材料证明它们曾尝试雇用美国人来做相关工作。所有H-1B雇主还被要求给获得签证的移民员工提供通行工资。

Labor Department data shows that about 40 percent of the visas go to entry-level workers and another 40 percent go to people with limited experience and skills. The Trump administration says that more of the jobs performed by those people could and should be filled by Americans.

劳工部的数据显示,大约40%的签证流向了入门级员工,另外40%落到了经验和技术有限的人手里。特朗普政府称,更多由这些人从事的工作可以并且也应该由美国人来做。

How are the visas allocated?

签证是如何分配的?

Visa applications must be sponsored by employers. Every April 1, the government begins accepting applications for the next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1. This year, the government received 199,000 H-1B applications in the first five days and then stopped accepting them.

签证申请必须由雇主提出。每年4月1日,政府开始接受将于10月1日开始的下一财年的申请。今年,政府在前5天里收到了19.9万份H-1B申请,之后便停止接受申请。

Because there are more applicants than visas, the visas are awarded by lottery. Each visa is good for three years and can be renewed for three more years. Immigrants who are applying for a permanent residency visa, known as a green card, can typically stay longer while waiting for approval.

因为申请人数超过了签证数量,签证以抽签的方式发放。每个签证的有效期是三年,到期后可再延长三年。申请永久居留签证,又称绿卡的人,往往可在等待获批期间停留更长时间。

In 2015, President Obama expanded the program to allow the spouses of H-1B visa holders to also work in the United States, but in a recent court filing, the Trump administration said it was reviewing that policy.

2015年,奥巴马总统扩大了该项目的范围,允许H-1B签证持有者的配偶也能在美国工作,但在最近的一份法庭文件中,特朗普政府称正在检讨该政策。

It is not clear exactly how many foreigners are in the United States on H-1B visas, but analysts estimate 650,000 to 900,000. In recent years, about 70 percent of the visas have been issued to citizens of India.

目前尚不清楚美国到底有多少持H-1B签证的外国人,但分析人士估计在65万到90万之间。近年来,大约70%的H-1B签证发给了印度公民。

Who employs these H-1B visa holders?

这些H-1B签证持有者的雇主是谁?

The biggest employers are India-based outsourcing companies like Wipro Technologies, Infosys, Tech Mahindra and Tata Consultancy Services. These firms contract with banks, health care companies and other businesses to handle various computing tasks and bring in thousands of immigrants to do the work. Outsourcing companies based in the United States, particularly IBM and Cognizant, also use large numbers of H-1B workers.

最大的雇主是总部设在印度的外包公司,如威普罗技术(Wipro Technologies)、Infosys、马恒达技术(Tech Mahindra)和塔塔咨询服务公司(Tata Consultancy Services)。这些公司与银行、医疗保健公司和其他企业签订合同,负责执行各种各样的计算任务,引进了数以千计的移民来做这些工作。总部设在美国的外包公司,尤其是IBM和Cognizant,也雇佣了大量H-1B员工。

The leading American technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Apple, employ thousands of H-1B workers. Two companies, Facebook and the chip maker Qualcomm, are heavily dependent on H-1B visas, with at least 15 percent of their American workforces holding the visas, according to federal filings. Thousands of Silicon Valley start-ups also hire some H-1B workers.

占主导地位的美国科技公司,包括谷歌(Google)、微软(Microsoft)和苹果(Apple),也雇佣了数以千计的H-1B员工。据联邦备案文件显示,Facebook和芯片制造商高通(Qualcomm)这两家公司严重依赖H-1B签证,它们在美国的员工中至少15%的人持该签证。许多硅谷初创公司也会雇佣一些H-1B员工。

How do these foreign workers contribute to the American economy?

这些外国工人是如何为美国经济做出贡献的?

American technology companies argue that there is a shortage of qualified Americans for scientific and programming jobs, forcing them to turn overseas for workers to meet their hiring needs.

美国科技企业称,美国缺少能胜任科研和程序设计工作的人,它们为了满足自己的用人需求,不得不从海外招人。

In addition, immigrants or their children have played key roles in founding many technology companies, including giants like Apple, Google and Intel and up-and-comers like WhatsApp and Airbnb.

此外,移民或其子女在很多科技企业的创办过程中扮演着至关重要的角色,其中就包括苹果(Apple)、谷歌(Google)、Intel等巨头以及WhatsApp、Airbnb等处于上升期的后来者。

The Indian outsourcers, which generally pay lower wages and operate in a different part of the technology ecosystem, say they are helping American companies cut spending on certain basic services so they can keep employing higher-paid workers in other parts of their businesses. R. Chandrashekhar, the president of the National Association of Software and Services Companies, a group that represents the Indian technology industry, says that more than three-quarters of the Fortune 500, America’s largest companies by sales, use the Indian outsourcers for some operations.

印度外包企业通常只支付较低的工资,在科技业生态系统的另一个部分发挥着作用,它们说自己正帮助美国企业削减用于某些基本服务的开支,这样一来美国企业就能一直以高薪雇用人员从事其他方面的工作。印度国家软件与服务公司协会(National Association of Software and Services Companies)的主席R•钱德拉塞卡尔(R Chandrasekhar)说,《财富》500强公司,也就是美国销售收入最高的那些公司当中,有超过四分之三要借助印度外包企业来开展某些业务。该协会是一个为印度科技行业代言的组织。

“These services play a critical role in ensuring that corporate America remains a job-creation engine,” Mr. Chandrashekhar said.

“美国公司之所以能够一直创造工作岗位,这些外包企业功不可没,”钱德拉塞卡尔说。

Still, Indian outsourcing companies are preparing for a world of fewer visas, shifting the work to people in India and other countries.

不过,印度外包企业正为应对签证数量变少的局面做准备,转而让身在印度以及其他国家的人去做相关工作。

Are American workers hurt by immigrant work visa programs?

移民工作签证项目损害美国工人的利益了吗?

Some studies suggest that universities grant technology degrees to more than enough American students to fill all the open jobs in the United States, so critics of the visas say the program is unnecessary. Silicon Valley companies often do not cast a wide net for American job candidates. Instead, they compete to hire the same graduates of the top colleges for many jobs and rely heavily on immigrants to fill out their workforces.

一些研究表明,被大学授予技术学位的美国学生数量,超出了美国的工作空缺总量,因此对签证计划持批评意见的人士说这是多此一举。硅谷的公司通常不会面向美国应聘者广泛撒网。相反,同样是毕业生,它们会争着雇用从顶尖大学毕业的那些去填充很多工作岗位,因此在满足自身劳动力需求方面严重依赖移民。

Under the H-1B program, “all companies have to attest that they tried to find an American,” said Russ Harrison, director of government relations at IEEE-USA, the American branch of IEEE, the largest professional association for computer scientists and electrical engineers. “But all you have to do is check a box.”

按照H-1B项目的相关规定,“所有公司都必须证明自己曾设法招一个美国人,”电气和电子工程师协会(简称IEEE)在美国的分支机构美国电气和电子工程师协会(简称IEEE-USA)政府关系部主任卢塞尔·哈里森(Russell Harrison)说。“但你要做的唯一一件事就是在某个选项后面打个勾。”IEEE是最大的计算机科学家及电气工程师专业协会

In some cases — at Walt Disney and at the University of California, San Francisco, for instance — employers laid off workers and replaced them with cheaper immigrants employed by outsourcing companies.

某些情况下——例如在华特迪士尼(The Walt Disney)和加州大学旧金山分校(University of California, San Francisco)——雇主会裁掉一些人,代之以外包公司雇佣的那些工资更低的移民。

Foreign workers can also be abused by the visa programs. The H-1B visa is tied to a specific employer, which means the visa holder cannot easily change jobs. Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, who has long pushed for changes, said some H-1B holders earned less than their stated salaries because they were forced to repay their employer for various expenses, such as travel.

外国工人的权益也可能因签证项目而受到侵犯。H-1B签证是和特定雇主相绑定的,这意味着签证持有者无法轻易换工作。一直在推动相关变革的加利福尼亚州民主党众议员佐伊·洛夫格伦(Zoe Lofgren)说,某些H-1B签证持有者拿到手的钱比他们声称的薪水要少,因为他们被迫向雇主偿付各种费用,比如旅费。

What changes are under consideration for visa programs?

有哪些针对签证项目的改革措施被纳入了考虑范围?

The Trump administration was vague about what it would like to change. In a background briefing with reporters, officials said they were considering changing the wage levels that would qualify for visas, raising fees for H-1B applications and steering more visas to immigrants with advanced degrees.

特朗普政府的改革目标一度颇为模糊。在向记者做背景简介时,一些官员说他们正考虑改变申请签证所要达到的工资标准,提高H-1B申请费用,并把签证更多地发放给持有高级学位的移民。

The government will also publicly release more data about other visa programs, such as the L-1, which allows workers officially employed overseas by a company to work in the United States. “We don’t know how many L-1s are here, who employs them, where they are located and what they are paid,” said Ronil Hira, an associate professor of political science at Howard University who has extensively studied immigrant visa programs.

特朗普政府还会公开关于L-1等其他签证项目的更多信息。借助L-1,正式受雇于一家公司的海外工人可以在美国工作。“我们不知道这里有多少人持有L-1签证,他们受雇于谁,待在哪里,挣多少钱,”对移民签证项目做了大量研究的霍华德大学(Howard University)政治学助理教授罗尼尔·希拉(Ronil Hira)说。

Many in Congress support changing the H-1B lottery system to give preference to the highest-paying jobs. “We should allocate visas based on who wants to pay the highest salary to avoid undercutting the wages of American workers,” said Ms. Lofgren, who has sponsored one of several bills on the topic.

很多国会议员都赞成对H-1B抽签制度进行改革,以便对那些薪水最高的工作岗位予以照顾。“我们发放签证时应该看谁想要支付最高的薪水,从而避免压低美国工人的工资,”洛夫格伦说。关于这一主题有着若干议案,其中一项就是由洛夫格伦提交的。

Such a change would favor established American technology companies, which tend to pay high wages, and hurt the outsourcing companies, which hire immigrants to do more basic work at lower wages. But there is a risk of collateral damage to start-ups, which pay less in cash but award stock to new hires, and to hospitals, which recruit immigrants for nursing and other nontech jobs.

这样的变革对往往会支付高工资的美国老牌科技公司有利,对以较低工资雇用移民做基础性工作的外包企业有害。不过这其中存在给创业公司造成连带伤害的风险,有些创业公司给新员工发的工资较低,但会以股权作为奖励,医院也会受到打击,它们需要招募移民从事护理以及其他非技术类工作。

Changes to work visas could also be wrapped into a broader immigration bill. Mr. Trump recently told members of Congress that he was open to discussing that approach.

工作签证改革也可能被纳入一个更为宽泛的移民法案。特朗普最近告诉国会议员,他愿意就这种做法进行讨论。

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