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Last week, a bipartisan pair of senators, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), introduced a pro-American H-1B reform bill aimed at ending the chronic abuses of the long-compromised guest-worker program.
...would require H-1B-using companies to make a good faith effort to hire American professionals first.... Companies wishing to import foreign professionals would now be required to list available positions on a Department of Labor website for 30 days before submitting a visa petition.... will restrict employers from hiring H-1Bs within 180 days of a layoff of American workers (expanded from the old 90-day requirement)...
Title II of the bill would overhaul the L-1B visa, a program increasingly criticized as a way to circumvent the annual caps on H-1Bs. The L-1B applies to so-called “specialized knowledge” employees, usually in the IT industry, who may be transferred to the U.S. from their foreign affiliated employer to work here for up to five years. By executive fiat, President Obama recently expanded the term “specialized knowledge” handing a big subsidy to the IT industry in the form of “hundreds of thousands” of new foreign professionals.
Pressure to dull the better parts of the bill and fold in H-1B cap increases will be fierce. The bill’s overhaul of the program would do much to curb the billions in immigration subsidies going to the trillion-dollar tech industry annually—an industry already largely founded by taxpayer funded military and university grants. Supporters must remember that the whole goal of the program is to AVOID hiring the American middle class. The Grassley-Durbin bill would end this practice and put Americans first.