- United States Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr., D-NJ, introduced the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016 last week.
- The legislation proposes changing the H-1B and L-1 visa programs to "protect workers" and stop companies from relying on foreign outsourcing, according to the announcement.
- Among other things, the legislation would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B employees if more than half of their employees are already H-1B and L-1 visa holders.
The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-CA. Pascrell and Rohrabacher introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, which failed to advance. Pascrell also had a reform bill for the program in 2005, but it lacked sponsors and did not go anywhere, according to a Computerworld report. Even though his efforts have failed in the past, Pascrell has remained persistant in his attempts to change the program.
Pascrell's bill is not the first this year to try and offer H-1B visa reform. The issue has been the subject of much controversy and several pieces of legislation over the past several months, including a bill that would base H-1B visas on salaries instead of a lottery. While many are offering solutions, few pieces of legislation are advancing intact to refocus the program.
Pascrell's legislation would "require employers to make a good faith effort to recruit and hire American workers before bringing in visa workers and prohibit employers from replacing American workers or giving preference to visa holders when they are filling open positions," according to the announcement.
The bill would also include efforts to protect foreign visa holders from being taken advantage of by providing them a list of rights.