US lawmakers want Trump to reform H1 B visa, curb on outsourcing jobs

US lawmakers want Trump to reform H1 B visa, curb on outsourcing jobs

Besides, the bill calls for prohibiting companies from replacing US workers.

The Dollar Business Bureau 

A two-party group of lawmakers from the House of Representatives as well as the Senate has prodded US President Donald Trump to put a curb on jobs outsourcing firms and reform the L-1 and H-1B visa programmes.

“We write because for far too long the H-1B visa has been abused by some corporations as a way to displace American workers with cheap foreign labour. We urge you to use your authority as President to the greatest extent possible to stop H-1B abuses, but we believe reform also must happen legislatively because of loopholes in the law,” the lawmakers said in a letter written to Trump.

In the letter written on July 27, the lawmakers said that the legislation on the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017 introduced by them would close the loopholes and reform these visa programmes in order to protect the American workforce and put a curb on outsourcing firms which deprive the qualified US citizens of highly-skill jobs.

“This bipartisan bill will restore the H-1B visa programme to its original intent, protect American workers, and preserve the limited H-1B visas for high-skilled foreign workers," the letter said.

The letter, led by Congressman Bill Pascrell, was signed by Congressmen Dave Brat, Paul A Gosar, Ro Khanna and Senator Richard Durbin, among others.

The policymakers also said their legislation protects American workers and the visa holders as it asks for additional transparency while recruiting the foreign workers.

The bill points out gaps in the present regulation and that the companies have to make good efforts to hire and recruit American citizens before getting foreign workers, they said. 

Besides, the bill calls for prohibiting companies from replacing US workers or preferring visa holders while filling the open jobs positions.

They also suggest to modify the current wage requirements for H-1B visas to make sure that employers pay foreigners equivalent wages in the field of employment.

Currently, the law allows paying below-market salaries to H-1B visa holders across sectors and geographical areas and even permits employers who are dependent on H-1B visas and employers who have earlier wilfully done violations in H-1B visa requirements in order to evade obligations for recruiting American workers and not displace them just by paying a $60,000 in yearly wages.

The lawmakers, in the letter, also opposed the allocation of H-1B visas by lottery system and stated that this does not allow to determine how the government awards the 85,000 visas, which in turn make the outsourcing firms to secure thousands of visas every year to outsource American jobs.

The Dollar Business Bureau - Aug 02, 2017 12:00 IST