Tech may sink immigration bill if unhappy, Sen. Hatch warns
Grassley wins approval of amendment to improve disclosure
Computerworld - WASHINGTON -- The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday began debate on more than 300 amendments to the comprehensive immigration bill, including a number of changes to sections on H-1B visas.
The debate put focus on sharp divisions that appear to pit U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), a leading critic of the H-1B visas, against Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who has emerged as one of the leading tech industry supporters.
A key issue involves the amount of effort employers must make to hire a U.S. worker before filling a job with a visa holder. There are also concerns about the amount of power the U.S. Department of Labor and other agencies will have to audit and enforce visa usage.
Hatch wants far more H-1B visas than the maximum 180,000 cap in the immigration bill and fewer rules about recruitment. Grassley is his polar opposite on this issue.
"We need to do a better job of protecting American workers," Grassley said. He wants a provision in the law to ensure that all H-1B employers make a "good faith" effort to hire U.S. workers first. The immigration bill only requires H-1B-dependent companies, meaning those with 15% or more of their workforce on visas, to make such an effort.
Tech industry groups oppose the recruitment and audit rules in the immigration bill.
Robert Hoffman, a lobbyist with the Information Technology Industry Council, argued on Twitter today that: "There were 84 players from 37 countries in the NBA at start of season. Should Congress require NBA to hire Americans first?" (Committee hearing hashtag is #CIRmarkup).
Hatch warned that H-1B restrictions could sink the broader bill.
"There's a whole high-tech world that's getting up in arms if we don't do this right, and they alone can make this bill very difficult to pass," Hatch said. "I hope my colleagues will work with me on this."
The committee's work is expected to run over several days. Grassley won a committee vote on one change.
The immigration bill requires the U.S. to set up a national jobs database to be operated by the Department of Labor. Employers would be required to post jobs for 30 days that they want to fill with H-1B workers.
Grassley said the proposed law only requires an employer to disclose wages, the education and experience needed, and the process for applying for the job. His amendment, approved by voice vote, also requires the title and description of the position, the location of the job, and the name and ZIP code of the employer.
"What's wrong with having the name, city and ZIP code of the employers?" Grassley asked. There was no response from anyone on the committee.
This article, Tech may sink immigration bill if unhappy, warns Sen. Hatch, was originally published at Computerworld.com.
Patrick Thibodeau covers cloud computing and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP presses ahead on H-1B, green cards with vague, muddy statement
- 5 reasons why your IT job search is getting harder
- Professors warn that grads could face competition from H-1B workers
- Infosys ran 'unlawful' visa scheme, U.S. alleges in settlement
- U.S. set to disclose Infosys visa case resolution
- Infosys prepares U.S. settlement over visa use, as it faces new class action suit
- House Democrats push ahead on immigration, H-1B
- Utility cuts IT workforce, hires Indian outsourcers
- IBM settles with U.S. over alleged discrimination in job ads
- H-1B workers in line for Obamacare work
Read more about IT Outsourcing in Computerworld's IT Outsourcing Topic Center.
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Mobile Applications Case Study: 8 Billion Transactions a Day The story documents how the online brokerage company tradeMONSTER created a custom mobile app and the success gleaned from this initiative. Also covered...
- Who's afraid of the big (data) bad wolf? Survive the big data storm by getting ahead of integration and governance functional requirements This paper provides a detailed review of the best practices clients should consider before embarking on their big data integration projects.
- Understanding big data so you can act with confidence Automating information integration and governance and employing it at the point of data creation helps organizations boost confidence in their big data.
- Mobile Apps and Devices Slash Customer Cycle Time Consolidated Engineering Laboratories' field employees used to collect data on triplicate forms that were sometimes hard to read and difficult to manage. After...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources... All IT Outsourcing White Papers | Webcasts