An engineering trade group wants President-elect Donald Trump to dump the H-1B lottery system for a system that gives priority to companies that pay the highest wages, Computerworld reports.
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE-USA), which says its membership consists of 200,000 engineering, computing and IT professionals, plans to submit a series of H-1B recommendations to the new administration. Russell Harrison, director of government relations for IEEE-USA, said his organization wants Trump "to start pushing back against outsourcing through the H-1B program."
IEEE-USA's proposal makes it so large H-1B visa users would have to wait until visas were distributed to other groups.
Trump has already indicated he plans to reevaluate visa programs, which include the H-1B system, asking his transition team last month to direct the Department of Labor to "investigate all abuses of visa programs that undercut the American worker."
Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) proposed replacing the H-1B lottery with a wage-based priority system last summer. But Lofgren’s bill, which would minimize the importance of the lottery system currently used to award H-1B visas but wouldn’t eliminate it altogether, has stalled.
Trump is a vocal opponent of the current H-1B visa program and wants to make it more difficult for tech companies to replace U.S. workers with foreign workers. But tech companies have pushed for an expansion of the H-1B program, claiming that a shortage of tech talent in the U.S. makes it necessary to recruit workers from overseas.
This year, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that handles H-1B requests, received more than 85,000 petitions — equivalent to a full year’s supply — in just five days. It was the fourth year in a row that requests outnumbered supply in less than a week.