New York —
Legislators from both parties propose changes in the allocation of temporary work permits to foreigners
A initiative of law presented on Friday by legislators from both political parties in the United States Congress would reform the program temporary jobs for immigrants specialized in certain branches, what is known as H-1B visas, to give priority to employment to those who have been educated in colleges or universities in the country.
The proposal establishes important changes in the programs of nonimmigrant visas qualified giving preference to foreign professionals in the field of technology who have completed their career or graduate studies in the United States.
The initiative “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Law” It was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representatives Bill Pascrell, Paul Gosar, Ro Khanna, Frank Pallone and Lance Gooden, and in the Senate by Chuck Grassley and Dick Durbin.
Every year the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) issues 65,000 H-1B visas for temporary workers through companies that hire skilled labor abroad and others 20,000 They are distributed to postgraduate students in universities in the country so that they can work in their professional field.
According to lawmakers, the new system would ensure that the best and brightest foreign students in the United States receive preference for an H-1B visa, including advanced graduates, those receiving a high salary and those with valuable skills.
The legislation restores Congress’ original intent on the H-1B and L-1 visa programs by increasing enforcement, modifying wage requirements and ensuring protections for both American workers and visa holders, lawmakers said.
In the writing of the initiative it establishes the prohibition to replace American workers by holders of H-1B or L-1 visas.
H-1B visa abuse
The working conditions of American workers with similar jobs cannot be adversely affected by hiring a foreign worker, the bill emphasizes.
The measure, according to congressmen, aims to avoid abuses in the allocation and use of H-1B visas.
It also proposes further repression against companies that outsource and import large numbers of H-1B and L-1 workers only for temporary training and then return them to do the same job in their home countries.
If this reform is approved, companies with more than 50 employees that have at least half of their employees with H-1B or L-1 lives could not hire more personnel through this program.
Senator Grassley stressed that the temporary worker program was created to complement America’s highly skilled workforce, not to replace it, but that some have taken advantage of cutting American employees to hire cheaper labor.