- Senators Chuck Grassley, R-IA, and Dick Durbin, D-IL, said they will reintroduce their bill for revamping the H-1B program this week, according to an announcement on Sen. Grassley’s website. Grassley and Durbin first introduced the legislation in 2007.
- The proposed bill would give preference to advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills, according to the announcement. The program would also give preference to foreign students educated in the U.S. The legislation would attempt to crack down on outsourcing companies importing large numbers of H-1B or L-1 workers for temporary training.
- But not everyone supports efforts to reform the H-1B program. A new report for the National Foundation for American Policy said "any rule replacing the current setup would do little to decrease the outsourcing of American jobs," Morning Consult reports.
President Donald Trump has repeatedly indicated he plans to reevaluate visa programs, including the H-1B program. The Trump team has reportedly been considering replacing the current lottery-based H-1B program with a visa-petition system for the highest paying jobs.
Congressman Darrell Issa, R-CA, got a jump on the Grassley/Durbin team and reintroduced his H-1B legislation earlier this month, proposing the increase of salary requirements for H-1B positions and the elimination of master's degree exemptions. But Issa’s bill is likely not broad enough to garner Trump’s full support, because it still makes it possible for companies to replace U.S. workers with H-1B workers.
The Grassley/Durbin bill is more focused on complementing the U.S. workforce rather than replacing it with lower-wage workers. The bill also requires employers to make a good faith effort to recruit American workers before they look to hire H-1B visa holders.