A bipartisan bill known as the H-1B & L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 has recently been introduced to Congress and it is already turning heads and sparking debate. The purpose of the bill is to prevent firms from hiring additional H-1B visa employees if they already have more than 50 employees and more than 50% of those employers are H-1B visa or L-1 visa holders. Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell of New Jersey, who worked with Republican Dana Rohrabacher of California on the bill, has stated that it would stop the displacement of American jobs in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields while also promoting the better treatment of visa-holding employees.
Similar legislation was introduced several years ago and failed to gain approval by Congress. The same fate could be seen for this recently-introduced act, as even Representative Pascrell acknowledged that it would likely be shot down.
WHY IS THE H-1B & L-1 VISA ACT CONTROVERSIAL?
Proponents of the bill believe that eligible STEM workers across the country are consistently losing jobs to foreigners with H-1B and L-1 visas. It has been stated that firms are using undercutting tactics to underpay visa holders and take jobs out of American hands.
Opponents of the bill are skeptical of the truth behind the concerns regarding outsourcing. Some have claimed that studies show that not only are there not enough STEM workers in America, but the IT workers who are gaining outsourced employment frequently cost more for firms to hire than a local. If true, it would suggest that outsourcing high-skilled IT jobs is actually promoting the global and American economy.
The conflicting statements are reason to give Congress members pause when deciding to approve or disapprove the bill. What is certain, however, is that the act will largely affect IT companies out of India, more so than any other business model. Opponents of the act believe that it could be unfairly targeting a specific group of people without a real basis of concern or necessity.
For pertinent updates regarding the H-1B & L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 as they develop, be sure to visit our knowledge center frequently. If you have questions or concerns regarding employment visas, or need legal assistance regarding a U.S. immigration law, you can contact our Montgomery County immigration attorneys from USILaw today.