Immigration reform is one of the 5 executive actions in Trump’s to do list for day one.
California Republican Darrell Issa has re-introduced a bill aimed at cracking down on the H-1B visa abuse by making major amendments to the existing program, allowing only highly skilled foreign employees work in the US.
The new bill, titled “Protect and Grow American Jobs Act,” has been re-introduced in Congress by Republican Darrell Issa and Democrat Scott Peters proposing important changes to the eligibility criteria for availing H-1B visa.
The bill has recommended a hike in the minimum salary of H-1B employees, and elimination of the masters’ quota/cap. The lawmakers have proposed an increase of $100,000 in the annual salary of H-1B employees.
The two lawmakers argue that the new amendments will help in cracking down on visa abuse by companies that hire average workforce from other countries for cheap salary, thus depriving American jobs.
The lawmakers are of the opinion that the legislation will ensure that only talented people from the world get an opportunity to work in the US, thus offering more job opportunity to US citizens.
The bill comes after a number of companies — among them, Disney, SoCal Edison and others — came under fire for allegedly using the H1B program to replace American workers with foreign workers.
“In order for America to lead again, we need to ensure we can retain the world’s best and brightest talent. At the same time, we also need to make sure programs are not abused to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor from abroad to replace American workers,” Issa said.
“The legislation we’re introducing today does both. It will ensure that our valuable high-skilled immigration spots are used by companies when the positions cannot be filled by the existing workforce,” Issa said.
The official statement of Issa added: “The legislation would help close a loophole in the nation’s high-skilled immigration system being used by these companies to bring in cheaper foreign labor from abroad.”
“By raising the salary to a level more in-line with the average American salary for these positions, it would help cut down on abuse by removing the profit incentive and ensuring these positions remain available for companies who truly need them,” it further said.
Issa’s bill is introduced with the support of fellow San Diego-area Congressman Scott Peters (D-CA).
When introduced in the House last year, the bill had faced strong opposition but with President-elect Trump calling for restricting the H1B program, its re-introduction has gained more significance.
Immigration reform was one of the five executive actions that Trump plans to take on the first day at the office as the President. Trump said earlier that he would ask the Department of Labor to investigate visa abuses that undercut American workers.