US Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Stop H1B Employees From Entering USA; Impose Wage Rules
Three US lawmakers proposed the American Jobs First Act which prohibits employers from recruiting foreign H-1B employees if they have recently or intend to furlough US workers, and mandates employers to pay H-1B workers more than American workers.
The American Jobs First Act, introduced by Republican Congressmen Mo Brooks, Matt Gaetz, and Lance Gooden, seeks to reform the H-1B visa programme by amending the Immigration and Nationality Act.
What is H-1B visa ?
The H-1B visa is mostly for Indian IT professionals. Thousands of employees each year from countries such as India and China are hired by technical companies. The H-1B visa programme provides employers with a path to hire high-skilled workers only if they are unable to find eligible American workers. Due to abuses, the H-1B visa programme has become a cheap foreign labour pipeline that major companies are abusing to increase profits at the expense of American workers. The title “Buy American, Employ American” often obligates government agencies to review their strategies to ensure that they adequately priorities American products and safeguard American employees.
Republican Congressmen Mo Brooks on H-1B visa
According to the bill’s text, the H-1B nonimmigrant status can only be given when the applicant employer applies with the Secretary of Labor claiming that the employer is paying the H-1B nonimmigrant the greater of the annual wage paid to the US resident. The petitioner employer must also apply with the Secretary of Labor specifying that an H-1B nonimmigrant would not be required to pay a penalty if the H-1B nonimmigrant leaves the petitioner employer before the date agreed upon by the H-1B nonimmigrant and the petitioner employer.
“My American Jobs First Act will bring much-needed reform and oversight to the H-1B visa program to ensure that US workers are no longer disadvantaged in their own country,” Brooks said.” To end the allure of cheap foreign labour, the bill will require employers to pay any H-1B workers a minimum amount of USD 110,000,” he said.
“And to stop American worker replacement, my bill will require companies seeking H-1B labour to not have fired any American workers for at least two years without just cause and commit to not firing any workers without just cause for two years after. Commonsense H-1B reform measures like these, alongside ending the unfair Optional Practical Training (OPT) and diversity visa lottery programs, all serve to promote American interests when it comes to immigration,” Brooks added.