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H-1B Visas Are The Heart Of The Abramoff Scandal

by Gene A. Nelson

These leaders associated directly or indirectly with lobbyist Jack Abramoff will not be a part of the 110th Congress: Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH), Rep. Richard W. Pombo (R-CA), Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Rep. John E. Sweeney (R-NY), Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT), and Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH).

For details, use "Abramoff" as a search term in the CQPolitics website. Unfortunately, some leaders apparently did not learn this lesson.

First, as a bit of background, here is how ILW.COM readers may confirm that Microsoft lobbyist Jack Abramoff lobbied for expansion of the harmful H-1B visa program in 1998.

In 1998, Microsoft lobbyist Jack Abramoff lobbied former U.S. Representative - and Majority Whip Tom DeLay's office for expansion of this controversial visa program as shown in disclosures posted at the U.S. Senate Office of Public Records. Here is the process to see them...

Go to

Select the link to view lobbyist disclosure records. Use "Abramoff" as the lobbyist name. Select "Jack Abramoff" as the lobbyist name. Then view line 22, which is the 1998 mid-year report for Microsoft Corporation. Page one of this report shows that Microsoft paid Abramoff $360,000 for six months (or $60K/month). Then, go to page six of 11. The reader will learn that DeLay's office was lobbied by Abramoff regarding "H.R. 3736, The Workforce program and S.1723 American Competitiveness Act (sic), all provisions relating to the H-1B visa program." William Jarrell, Rep. DeLay's Deputy Chief of Staff was lobbied.

Nonpartisan site provides documentation of the $46,020,000 that Microsoft Corporation has spent on lobbying between 1998 and 2004. Add the $15,420,453 in campaign donations at since about 1998. In exchange for these funds, Microsoft has been able to save billions annually. shows over 4,327 H-1Bs directly employed by Microsoft between 2001 and 2003. (Many more are hired via contractors such as Tata, Infosys, Satyam, etc.)

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) attempted to push through a version of his S.2611 in the last days of the lame duck session of the 109th Congress. The House counterpart was HR.5744. S.2611 could caused the largest (and open-ended) expansion of the H-1B visa program in its 16 year history. This "under the radar" action is extremely controversial!

Lobbyist (and convict) Jack Abramoff's role in the destruction of the American science and engineering enterprise is under-appreciated.

About The Author

Gene A. Nelson has been active in high-tech workforce issues for over two decades. His 1984 Ph.D. thesis involved the interactions of alpha particles from Polonium-210 with a model biological system. This research was very obscure and resulted in only a few abstracts and talks, including one at Los Alamos National Laboratories. Suddenly, his thesis work has become much more relevant as a consequence of the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko with Polonium-210. His thesis work could have resulted in improvements to radiation therapy against cancer. He has been passionately involved in workforce issues, including giving testimony in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1999. He has learned that there are two men who have been architects for the destruction of the American science and engineering enterprise. One is a name that you have probably not encountered: Joshua Eilberg, a former U.S. Representative from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The second, widely known, is Microsoft Corporation lobbyist Jack Abramoff. For background, see his 2005 article "Career Destruction Sites - What U.S. colleges have become" The table for this article is available at:

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.