DHS weighs major change to H-1B foreign tech worker visa program

Submitted by Rennie on Fri, 01/05/2018 - 16:55

By Franco Ordoñez
The Department of Homeland Security is considering new regulations that would prevent H-1B visa extensions, according to two U.S. sources briefed on the proposal. The measure potentially could stop hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from keeping their H-1B visas while their green card applications are pending.

The proposal, being drafted in memos shared between DHS department heads, is part of President Donald Trump’s “Buy American, Hire American” initiative promised during the 2016 campaign.

The administration is specifically looking at whether it can reinterpret the "may grant" language of the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act to stop making the extentions. The act currently allows the administration to extend the H-1B visas for thousands of immigrants, predominantly Indian immigrants, beyond the allowed two three-year terms if a green card is pending.

Read more at McClatchy DC

Comments

The H1B issue should be a liberal issue, because it's a fair labor issue. It should also appeal to conservatives who believe in fair competition and America First.

The thing is that many people don't understand the fundamental issue with H1Bs. A company does not have to interview Americans at all when a job is slated for H1Bs. So we don't actually know if we have a labor shortage, because US citizens cannot compete for the jobs. A company can legally refuse to interview US citizens, and if the job was a regular position, it would be illegal to not interview qualified candidates of any age, gender, religion, race, etc, but they can discriminate against you if you live local to the job in the US. So that job down the street from you, you cannot get an interview for, even if you are highly qualified. Totally legal now. Meanwhile if you were - pick any minority or any protected employment group - it would be illegal for a non-H1B slated job.

That's pretty wild news to many people who believe that the H1B issue is one around racism and foreign people taking jobs Americans would not take or are not qualified for. The truth is we do not know if there is a skills shortage when you aren't allowed to compete for the job. And companies do not have to consider ANY qualified Americans, even the minorities that progressive STEM people champion. Even the current proposed reforms keep in a provision to allow US local jobs to go without competition with US citizens.

The minimum thing that progressive groups ought to be asking is that we require all companies that have filed for an H1B to be required to interview local citizen candidates and to hire without bias, the best qualified candidate, without discrimination to US citizens. 

People should be passing the news along to their social media and explaining to their local lunch buddies that the H1B visa program must be reformed despite who may be President and despite any misinformation that has been spread in the past.

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