Republican Wants A Law To Tighten Rules On Visa Issuance For Foreign Workers

By Savannah Smith , The Goldwater · 01-07-2017
Photo credit: The Goldwater

President-elect Donald Trump has been firm and consistent from the campaign trail up to now - where he is merely two weeks away from being proclaimed the 45th President of the U.S. - in emphasizing his priority to create and keep jobs in the country for Americans. He has in fact committed to making this goal his single, biggest agenda in his first 100 days in office.

Relevant to such goal, Trump has also vowed to stop labor practices and measures that are detrimental to U.S. citizens. This includes preventing companies from abusing the visa process for foreign workers in a way that undermines the labor market and negatively affects American workers. A close Republican lawmaker-ally of Trump seems poised to help achieve the incoming President's goal of prioritizing jobs for Americans by reintroducing a bill meant to tighten rules on H-1B visas.

Prominent Republican legislator Rep. Darrell Issa, a fierce supporter of Trump, said that his bill is designed to "stop the outsourcing of American jobs" and ensure that laws are not "abused" to allow companies to outsource and hire cheap foreign labor.

As a form of disincentive for companies, Issa's proposed legislation would increase required salaries for positions granted under the H-1B scheme that replace American workers from $60,000 to $100,000 per year. The bill plans to also do away with an exemption for candidates who hold master's degrees.

The U.S. issues H-1B visas as temporary work visas to foreigners for such fields as Information Technology. In 2015, the country issued 85,000 H-1B visas, 64% of which went to Indians, and 84% of which were intended for technology-related jobs.

In an early December rally in Louisiana last year, Trump told the crowd of stories and sentiments shared to him by American workers during the campaign. Those workers were laid off by their companies, but before they could go, they were forced by their bosses to train foreign hires brought in to replace them.

It was not just a case of adding insult to injury, but of flagrant abuse. Trump strongly condemned such practice, describing it as demeaning for American workers. He then vowed that under his watch, he will never allow such abuses to happen again.

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