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
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
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.