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Two Powerful GOP Senators Dash Hopes for H-1B Visa Cap Increase. By Roger Algase

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As the April 1 H-1B Cap filing date draws closer, two powerful anti-immigrant Republican Senators, Charles Grassley (IA) and Jeff Sessions (AL) have intensified their attacks on the H-1B program, putting an end to any lingering hopes there may have been for an increase in the number of annual H-1B visas.

This is despite that fact that a bill sponsored by more moderate Republicans, including Orrin Hatch (UT) and Marco Rubio (FL), and supported by the technology industry, would increase the cap from the current 65,000 to 115,000 per year and provide for further increases based on economic conditions.

The Hill reports Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee as saying the following about the Hatch bill during a March 17 hearing:

"It doesn't close the loopholes or prevent abuse. it doesn't make sure that American workers are put before foreign workers...It only increases the supply of cheaper foreign labor."

Meanwhile, Sen. Sessions claimed that the H-1B program is "being abused to a huge degree".

In the view of these two influential senators and their anti-immigrant extremist supporters, the only thing worse than illegal immigration by less skilled or educated workers, it seems, is legal immigration by highly skilled and educated professionals.

Nor, it should be pointed out, has opposition to H-1B based on the myth that it is nothing more than a device to take away American jobs through cheap foreign labor been limited to the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican party.

S.744, the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill that was passed by the Senate in 2013, but went nowhere in the House, would have ended a significant part of the H-1B program as we know it, by imposing a labor certification requirement similar to the one now in effect for employment-based green card sponsorship.

The Hill's March 17 article can be found at:

http://thehill.com/policy/technology...ration-changes

_________________________________________

Roger Algase is a New York lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. For more than 30 years, he has been helping employment-based and family based immigrants overcome the obstacles of our immigration system and attain their goals in America. Roger welcomes questions at algaselex@gmail.com

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Updated 04-09-2015 at 11:49 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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Comments

  1. Nolan Rappaport's Avatar
    Argumentum ad hominem, responding to arguments by attacking the person, rather than to the content of his arguments. It would have been more interesting if you had explained why the statements you quoted are wrong instead of attributing them to extreme anti-immigrant bias.
  2. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    Nolan, it seems that you and i are in parallel universes on this issue. We are dealing with two senators here who insist that the entire H-1B program is nothing more than a vehicle for fraud, abuse, and stealing American jobs by paying foreign workers lower wages to do jobs that Americans can do.

    If you also believe that this is all there is to H-1B, then I can understand why you would be defending these two senators who obviously want to kill it. But where is your evidence that H-1B is nothing but fraud, abuse and job stealing? Where is theirs?

    Certainly no government program is entirely free from misuse. But if that is our standard, then we might as well abolish all legal immigration, and Social Security, Medicare and every other government program in existence along with it.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-18-2015 at 08:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
  3. ImmigrationLawBlogs's Avatar
    To put it another way, my distinguished colleague and respected legal scholar, Nolan, appears to be taking the anti-H-1B ranting of Senators Grassley and Sessions at face value.

    I doubt if these two worthy senators even believe their own attacks on H-1B or regard them as anything more than propaganda put out to appeal to mainly rural, white (yes, I will say the obvious) Midwestern/Southern constituents who, to put it mildly, are not exactly open to immigration of any stripe and the acceptance of diversity it entails.

    I also respectfully suggests that protecting American workers is the least, and last, of the goals of these two senators. Has either one ever voted to prevent off-shoring of US jobs, raise the minimum wage, or to support labor unions? Not that I am aware.

    Roger Algase
    Attorney at Law
    Updated 03-20-2015 at 02:01 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs
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