Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

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New US bill calls for H-1B reform, end of Optional Practical Training program

2 min read
H-1B visas renewed

H-1B reform: New immigration in the United States has called for more stringent norms in the H-1B visa program, used by organizations to address gaps in high-skill labor.

The American Tech Workforce Act of 2021, proposed in the US House of Representatives. Calls to end the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program as it mostly benefits big tech companies. By giving tax cuts and allowing them to hire workers at a lower cost.

The Bill was introduced by Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks. As part of a Republican Study Committee Initiative to hold Big Tech accountable, it said.

It will have to first be approved by the House, and then the Senate before it may be signed into law.

“Big Tech is setting aside some of the most lucrative and valuable career opportunities in America and giving them only to foreign guest workers. Moreover, they’re cutting out Americans to save a few bucks. It’s domestic outsourcing,” Banks said in a statement.

New US bill calls for H-1B reform

“This stunning disregard for American workers and their role in our country’s future is treacherous. We should fix Big Tech’s incentives, so they start putting Americans first,” he added.

The Bill proposes to set a wage floor for H-1B visas at the higher end of the yearly pay paid. Moreover, to an American worker for that position, or $110,000, prioritizing giving visas. To employers who pay higher wages and limit the ability of big tech firms to contract with outsider third-party workers.

The Bill would limit the validity of visas for H-1B workers sponsored by third-party organizations. To one year rather than three years, which is the norm.

In 2019, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, IBM, and Apple were six of the best eight initial approval recipients of H-1B visas. This group has been at the top of the approved beneficiary’s recipient’s pool since at least 2014, said Banks.

[US DOL says Cigniti violated H-1B guidelines]

The American Tech Workforce Act is supported by American Principles Project (APP). Also, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), and NumbersUSA.

“The bill corrects some glaring flaws in the H-1B program. Which has had a severely detrimental impact on the job opportunities and wages of American workers. It also ends OPT, a program that allows Big Tech companies to recruit foreign students over American students after they graduate”. Said RJ Hauman, Director of Government Relations and Communications, FAIR. “Remember, immigration policymaking should not be solely focused on border security, but also protecting American workers from unfair competition.”

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