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United States representative Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) is looking into possible abuses of the H-1B visa program that gives U.S. employers the right to hire foreign nationals for high-tech jobs. Concerned about the rising joblessness rate among U.S. workers, Johnson has asked the heads of five Connecticut insurance companies for information on the number of Asian Indians they've hired to fill information technology (IT) jobs. At press time, none of the companies had responded.
Some U.S. companies hire Indian firms that place IT workers in overseas offices. These firms sometimes place Indian workers in U.S. companies under H-1B visas. In other cases, U.S. companies hire H-1B workers directly.
The H-1B visa program allows companies to sponsor skilled workers from other countries if they can't find a qualified U.S. worker. Foreign nationals with H-1B visas may stay in the United States up to six years. Most visa holders are recruited for engineering, computer programming, and accounting …