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Issa bill would kill a big H-1B loophole

In 1998, Congress raised the H-1B cap after which set some controversial H-1B visa ideas. It prohibited the most important customers of H-1B visa — corporations employing 15 percent or more visa workers — from displacing U.S. employees. Additionally They are required to make a “good faith” effort to recruit a U.S. worker for a position.

Congress then inserted an incredible loophole.

U.S. staff can be displaced by way of H-1B-dependent employers — such because it outsourcing companies — equipped the visa holder has a master’s degree or the company pays visa staff at the least $60,000. This earnings degree has Not modified in 18 years.

darrell issa

Rep. Darrell Issa, (R-Calif.)

On Wednesday, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) introduced a bipartisan Invoice, the “Offer Protection To and Develop American Jobs Act,” that makes two key modifications to the 1998 law.

It raises the $60,000 salary minimum to $100,000 and, unlike the 1998 legislation, contains an inflation adjustment. It additionally eliminates the master’s degree exemption.

“The high-knowledgeable visa application is important to ensuring American firms can appeal to and continue the sector’s best possible ability,” stated Issa in a remark. “Unfortunately, in latest years, this necessary application has grow to be abused and exploited as a loophole for corporations to replace American workers with more cost-effective labor from in a foreign country.”

Issa’s Bill has seven co-sponsors, including five California Democrats, U.S. Reps. Scott Peters, Jared Polis, Juan Vargas, Duncan Hunter and Susan Davis. Significantly absent is Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who represents Silicon Valley and has been working with Issa on a extra expansive H-1B reform Invoice.

Issa’s Invoice will likely face criticism.

A $One Hundred,000 minimum income is still below what the average IT employee at Southern California Edison (SCE) is paid. SCE cut some 500 IT staff, principally via layoffs, after it hired two H-1B dependent corporations, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Products And Services. One Of The utility’s IT staff complained of getting to train their visa-holding replacements.

SCE’s IT layoffs drew the ire ultimate yr of Issa. The H-1B software is “Not intended” to be “a application to simply change American staff en masse with low cost labor from out of the country,” he said after information of SCE’s action broke.

However The reasonable income of SCE IT workers was once $A Hundred And Ten,466 once a year, in line with Edison’s own compensation find out about. That knowledge was cited by way of Ron Hira, an associate professor of public coverage at Howard University, right through Senate testimony remaining year. Tata and Infosys pay new H-1B staff on moderate $65,565 and $70,882, mentioned Hira, in his testimony.

Calvin Moore, a spokesman for Issa, mentioned Thursday that requiring the upper revenue, to $100,000 would “have probably prevented these jobs being outsourced.”

In Response To Issa’s Invoice, Hira stated it “will do nothing to get rid of the abuse of the H-1B software. It merely shuffles the deck chairs on the Vast. As A Substitute of dropping their jobs to Tata or Infosys H-1Bs, the Southern California Edison employees can be coaching their cheaper H-1B replacements employed through IBM or Accenture.”

Hira referred to as the Invoice “a good first step” for recognizing “that there are issues with the H-1B. But their proposed answer is a swing and a leave out.”

Peter Eckstein, the president of the IEEE-U.S.A., stated the workforce “appreciates the management” Issa is offering on this issue. “Whereas H.R. 5801 does No Longer go just about as far as we would like, elevating the minimum wage paid by means of outsourcers will discourage, But No Longer finish, the outsourcing of yank jobs. Nonetheless, this Invoice is a step in the suitable route,” he stated in a remark.

On this one difficulty, the dependent agency loophole, H-1B visa critics will ask: Why set any minimum salary threshold for displacing U.S. staff? Why Not eliminate the power of IT Services companies to displace U.S. employees at 0.33-birthday party web sites, something that is now routine in offshore outsourcing?

Issa’s Bill, if adopted, would create — to Hira’s level — industry competitiveness issues.

An Organization that employs More Than 50 people and has 15 p.c or extra of its group of workers on H-1B visas is categorized by way of regulation as H-1B dependent. Most H-1B based firms are primarily based in India, so the Indian govt will seemingly argue loudly that every one Issa’s Invoice will do is to put their business at a aggressive downside.

IT Services companies with huge U.S. workforces, IBM and Accenture, in particular, use H-1B employees But aren’t subject to H-1B established ideas since the visa staff make up lower than 15 percent of their workforces. The based companies should pay the minimum $A Hundred,000 revenue if they want the exemption. The non-based corporations will handiest have to fulfill the ceaselessly lower-paying prevailing wage rule.

Issa’s Invoice could be very focused. Critics say this system brings in young, cell employees who are in competitors with older staff. Greater Than half are paid the bottom stage of prevailing wage.

Issa’s Invoice is the 2d H-1B idea to be introduced this month in the house of Representatives. Rep. Invoice Pascrell (D-N.J.), proposed the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016,” which would require all employers to make a “good religion effort” to recruit U.S. employees, and restrict corporations from hiring H-1B employees if More Than 50 people and Greater Than 50 p.c of their workers are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

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