As one sign of the company's commitment to American workers, Ms. Davis says, Siemens expects to add about 3,200 manufacturing jobs in the US.
That is small consolation to people like Emmons. "My job still exists," he says. "It's being done by foreign workers."
Relaxing at his home near Orlando on a Saturday afternoon as his children, Hanna and Troup, play with the family's dogs, Emmons recounts the events beginning in July 2002, when he learned that Indian workers would be filling the department's jobs. Although as a contract worker he was not eligible for severance pay, his colleagues were Siemens employees.
"It wasn't fun training our replacements," he says. "There was a lot of rage going on in the building. Two people left without taking severance." He trained three Indian workers to do his job.
Emmons now works as an application developer at the state district attorney's office, but he took a sizable pay cut. Some of his colleagues struggled to find new jobs. One cut grass, another worked at the post office before eventually landing a job in South Carolina.
"The visa program has got to be fixed," Emmons continues. "Visas have got to be for what they say they're for - when employers can't find American workers."
As one way to prevent such job losses, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D) of Connecticut has introduced a bill requiring companies to pay L-1 visaholders the prevailing wage. Any firm that has laid off American workers within the past six months would not be eligible for L-1 visas.
"It's a very serious problem," Representative DeLauro says. "I'm supportive of guest-worker programs. They have a place in our economy. But L-1 visas are just being used as a way to bring in people to take jobs from Americans and not pay benefits or prevailing wages."