Feb 2, 2017

India's tech sector starts lobbying against H-1B visa changes

Aijaz Rahi / AP File Photo

India-based IT services companies are heading to Washington to lobby against new restrictions on a temporary work-visa program that they use heavily to recruit talent, Bloomberg reports.

Industry group Nasscom represents India's largest tech companies — including Tata Consultancy, Wipro and Infosys — whose stocks have taken a beating this week ahead of a Trump executive order expected to start the process of reprioritizing the visa lottery system in favor of the highest-paying jobs.

Why it matters: These India-based tech companies are among the largest users of the H-1B visa program. New visa restrictions would make it more expensive for these firms to hire workers, who are often used to staff corporate IT departments for U.S. companies. Or, they could be pulled to the back of the line in the visa application pool, also making it difficult to find talent. Several bills have been introduced in Congress aiming to reform the program.

What they're saying: "We want to help the officials and lawmakers understand the gains for the U.S. economy and the benefits to Americans because of businesses using Indian IT services," said Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar.

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What we know: Deadly Storm Dennis whips at England, Wales and Ireland

Photo: OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images.

At least two deaths are being attributed to Storm Dennis on Monday as it continues to strike at parts of England, Wales and Ireland, per AccuWeather.

The big picture: Dennis is the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean. Its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains have caused widespread flooding across the United Kingdom. The army has been deployed in the U.K. to help with flood relief.

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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's NHC; Note: China refers to mainland China and the Diamond Princess is the cruise ship offshore Yokohama, Japan. Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

14 Americans evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship tested positive for the novel coronavirus before being flown in a "specialist containment" on a plane repatriating U.S. citizens back home, the U.S. government said early Monday.

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The cost of going after Bloomberg

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Here's the growing dilemma for 2020 Democrats vying for a one-on-one showdown with frontrunner Bernie Sanders: Do they have the guts — and the money — to first stop Mike Bloomberg?

Why it matters: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren all must weigh the costs of punching Bloomberg where he looks most vulnerable: stop-and-frisk, charges of sexism, billionaire entitlement. The more zealous the attacks, the greater the risk he turns his campaign ATM against them.