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Push to Protect American Jobs: Round-up on Proposed Reforms to H-1B, L-1 Visas

Reforming the H-1B program “is an issue we are closely and carefully looking at,” Donald Trump had said during the campaign. This sentiment is shared by Congress, as evidenced by the slew of legislation proposed across both sides of the aisle.

Senator Dick Durbin (D. Ill.) first introduced a bill in 2007 to cure what he sees as the central problem — outsourcers abusing the system to obtain a very large portion of the limited number of H-1B visas. A decade later, in early March, Durbin reiterated this concern in a letter to President Trump. Durbin urges Trump to act quickly by way of Executive Order before the annual H-1B lottery because without Presidential action “outsourcers [would once again] secure the right to import tens of thousands of low-wage foreign guest workers to replace American workers.”

Going on the assumption that requiring outsourcers to pay higher salaries will eliminate the visa abuse and protect American workers, Congress is considering:

Outsourcing firms may have the most to lose if any of this legislation passes. The most recently available figures show that 13 outsourcing firms received one-third of all available H-1B visas. Outsourcing firms’ -20-year-old business models are being reconsidered to incorporate hiring more American workers, accelerating automation, and moving American jobs off-shore.

At the executive level, a draft Executive Order that would impose H-1B reforms was leaked in January, but it has yet to be signed. Significantly, on the first day of the annual H-1B lottery, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced that it will prioritize the detection of H-1B fraud and abuse through targeted site visits, with an emphasis on H-1B employers (i) whose information cannot be commercially verified, (ii) who are H-1B dependent, or (iii) who send employees to third-party worksites.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2017

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About this Author

Nadine T. Trinh, Immigration Attorney, Jackson Lewis Law Firm
Associate

Nadine T. Trinh is a Principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. She advises clients in all areas of employment-based non-immigrant and immigrant visa processing, particularly for high-level business professionals, scientists, researchers, physicians, entertainers, and artists.

She also focuses her practice on I-9 and E-Verify compliance and employer defense in ICE audits, worksite investigations, and settlement negotiations.

Prior to joining Jackson Lewis, Ms. Trinh was an enterprise risk management consultant for...

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