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Reply #6: Senate bill gives Americans preference for tech jobs [View All]

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OhioChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-06-07 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Senate bill gives Americans preference for tech jobs
Published: April 3, 2007, 1:14 PM PDT

update High-tech companies and others clamoring for additional H-1B visas to hire foreigners would be forced to give priority to American job seekers under a new U.S. Senate proposal.

Just before Congress departed for its spring recess at the end of last week, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) introduced a bill--which appears to be the first of its kind in the Senate--designed to curb abuse of the controversial worker visa system.

"Our immigration policy should seek to complement our U.S. workforce, not replace it," Durbin said in a statement.

Dating back to 1990, the H-1B program allows foreigners with at least a bachelor's degree in their area of specialty to be employed in the United States for up to six years. There's currently an annual cap of 65,000 visas, at least on paper, with up to 20,000 extras available for foreigners who earn advanced degrees from U.S. universities. (Various exemptions bump the total allotment to just above 100,000.)

The 32-page Senate bill would impose a host of additional obligations on employers. They would be required to pledge that they made a "good faith" effort to hire an American before taking on an H-1B worker and that the foreigner was not displacing a prospective U.S. worker.

Employers would also have to advertise job openings for 30 days on the Department of Labor's Web site before making H-1B visa applications, and they would be prohibited from advertising positions only to H-1B holders.

In addition, companies with 50 or more workers would not be allowed to employ more than half of their staff through H-1B visas.
In an attempt to discourage employers from hiring foreigners at lower wages than their American counterparts would command, employers would have to pay all H-1B workers the "prevailing wage," as calculated by a different method that raises the minimum to a higher level than it currently stands.

http://news.com.com/Senate+bill+gives+Americans+prefere...
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