Ro Khanna introduces bipartisan bill to reduce H-1B, L1 ‘fraud and abuse’

The Indian American legislator says we “cannot allow for companies to underpay foreign workers and use them to replace American workers.”

Ro Khanna; credit:

A new bipartisan bill to “reform and reduce fraud and abuse” in H-1B and L1 visa was introduced in the US House of Representatives on Thursday.

Ro Khanna, an Indian American Democrat who represents California’s 17th district in the San Francisco Bay Area’s tech heartland, is one of the cosponsors of the bill, which was introduced by New Jersey Democrat Bill Pascrell, Jr.

The other co-sponsors are Rep. Dave Brat (R-Virginia) and Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Arizona).

H.R.1303 is a companion bill to the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017,” which was introduced in the Senate by longtime H-1B critics Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Michigan).

“We have skilled, high-tech professionals here in America,” said Pascrell, in a press release. “Many are unemployed and carrying the debt of advanced degrees. Some businesses, by ‘in-sourcing’ and exploiting foreign workers, are abusing the visa programs – undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards.”

He added that abusing the visa program “to get cheap labor hurts the American middle class” is “something I cannot accept.”

The bill, according to Pascrell, “would close loopholes in the H-1B and L visa programs to reduce fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, and require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers.”

RELATED: New H-1B reform bill proposing twofold hike in minimum wage introduced in House of Representatives

This “legislation would overhaul the H-1B and L-1 visa programs” to protect American workers “and crack down on foreign outsourcing companies which deprive qualified Americans of high-skill jobs,” it added.

Khanna, a freshman who represents parts of Silicon Valley, said the bill is intended to end H1-B abuses. “As the son of immigrants, I know that immigrants strengthen our nation and economy,” he said. “But we cannot allow for companies to underpay foreign workers and use them to replace American workers. Instead, we need American companies to invest in our own workforce. The bill will prevent the exploitation of foreign workers while still recognizing the contributions immigrants make to our economy.”

RELATED: H-1B visa reform bill by Darrell Issa would be good for highly-skilled Indians, US economy

Speaking to CNNTech, Khanna said “there’s a mood in the nation that wants to fix abuse and he “cautiously optimistic” about the passage of the bill.

But Khanna’s involvement has already drawn negative responses from a section of the Indian American community.

“Please note: Ro Khanna, an Indian American politician funded heavily by NRIs, is championing restrictions on H1B,” tweeted Rajiv Malhotra, a former tech executive and Hindu activist.

RELATED: Bill to end H-1B visa abuse reintroduced in US Congress

Also, on Thursday two members of Congress introduced legislation to crack down on outsourcing of call centers.

H.R.1300, introduced by Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas) and David McKinley (R-West Virginia) requires “the Secretary of Labor to maintain a publicly available list of all employers that relocate a call center overseas, to make such companies ineligible for Federal grants or guaranteed loans, and to require disclosure of the physical location of business agents engaging in customer service communications, and for other purposes.”


  1. Another Trojan horse H-1B fix.

    Fixing “abuse” of the H-1B is of no value to American STEM workers. Without this “reform” about 120,000 American jobs a year (not all H-1Bs are subject to the cap) go to foreigners and with these “reforms” the same number of American jobs will go to foreigners. The impact of these changes will be in which companies get the H-1Bs. Americans are still losers.

    Displacing Americans from domestic jobs is not an “abuse” of the law. It was specifically designed by the lobbyist who wrote it to allow Americans to be replaced by cheap foreign labor. A close look at the “protections” in the H-1B law shows it protects Americans in situations that almost never occur.

    These bills are cosmetic fixes designed to combat bad publicity without actuall stopping the evil of the H-1B. The only fix that will help citizens is to end the H-1B

  2. Right now, with half of the H-1b visas going to Offshore Outsourcing companies, the H-1b visa is not serving its intended purpose.

    We know that technology originating companies are more likely to sponsor workers for a Green Card, than the Offshore Outsourcing companies are.

    We also know that our technology originating companies pay substantially more for their tech workers (110-250k/yr). The Offshore Outsourcing companies are averaging at just slightly above the current minimum H-1b wage of 60k/yr at about 76k/yr.

    The U.S. would reap huge tax and financial rewards by raising the minimum H-1b salary. (several hundred billion in taxes alone over 10 years). While at the same time encouraging companies that use the H-1b visa to sponsor people for Green Cards, and hopefully encouraging them to become citizens (by paying them enough to own a home where they work).

    Frankly, the temporary low-paid workforce that the Offshore Outsourcing companies are providing doesn’t help the U.S. in the long run. And given that Offshore Outsourcing companies often bring in fresher trainees, who are then trained by the workers that they are replacing, as a prelude to moving the entire department overseas. Well that just represents a huge waste of U.S. taxpayer resources.

    The Offshore Outsourcing companies can continue to operate in the U.S., they can just use the U.S. Free Labor market just like all the other ordinary businesses on Main St.

  3. That’s correct. Even though I worked in the USA from 98-2008 on H1B visa, my salary was in the range USD 57k-80k. I was hired from India in 2000 and relocated to USA with the promise of greencard by major healthcare company in the USA. My greencard was approved for I140 in 2008. I had purchased house,car in USA, invested in US markets. I am in India since 2008 as I came for one week vacation which got extended.Could not get back to USA due to lack of H1B sponsership. Request US help to give me US greencard/passport and relocate and rehire me back to USA employer and provide me a good job.

    • divorce your wife. come here on tourist visa. marry a us citizen. get a job on ead. inside 1 yr get a gc. stay married for 2 yrs. divorce her after 2 yrs. remarry your indian wife. sponsor her gc along with your children. for a US crazy man like you this is only route.

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