April 4, 2013
Legislation has been proposed in the Congress to reform the H-1B and L-1 visa programs. These are the non-immigrant visa programs that allow U.S. employers to hire specially trained foreign workers. The bill was introduced on 3/18/2013 in the Senate by Sen. Chuck Grassley. The goal of the bill is to eliminate fraud and abuse of foreign worker visas. The criticism with how the visa program currently operates is that U.S. employers fraudulently use the visas to circumvent the hiring American workers in order to hire foreign workers at lower wages.
The bill tries to fix this problem by requiring employers to make a good faith effort to hire Americans first and then putting in wage requirements that will force employers to pay the foreign workers at comparable rates to American wages. The intent in requiring wage parity is to take away the incentive for employers to hire foreign workers at lower wages.
The bill is in the very early stages and tentatively entitled the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2013”. It will be interesting to see how the bill evolves going forward this year and if it will be incorporated in the larger comprehensive immigration reform bill expected soon. It seems that incorporation of this bill or the use of bill as a template for H-1B reform in the looming comprehensive immigration reform bill is likely.
Find information about this bill on WestlawNext by doing finds to:
2013 FD S.B. 600 (NS)
2009 CONG US S 887 (Note: This 2009 bill is a previous bill introduced by Grassley that is similar to his 2013 bill. The text of the 2013 bill not yet available, but it is supposed to be similar to the 2009 reform bill.)
Find information about this bill on WestlawNext by running this search in News and sorting by date:
adv: grassley /p h-1b /p reform /p visa