H-1B politics shifts to backroom as vote nears

Hatch buys time in his effort to reduce restrictions on H-1B use

By , Computerworld |  IT Management

One of his amendments would eliminate an obligation on all employers, proposed in the comprehensive immigration bill, to attest that they worked to hire an "equally qualified" U.S. worker prior to hiring an H-1B worker. The amendment would limit that requirement to H-1B dependent companies, or those with 15% or more of their workforce holding H-1B visas.

In a letter sent on Thursday to the committee, Marc Apter, president of IEEE-USA. voiced opposition to the Hatch proposals.

"Every part of this package has the same purpose -- to make it easier for employers to fire Americans and replace them with temporary foreign workers," wrote Apter of Hatch's amendments.

The IEEE-USA, a professional group for engineers, has opposed expanding the H-1B program, but supports permanent residency for STEM graduates.

The committee recessed early Thursday afternoon and will resume negotiations on its amendments on Monday.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS 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 pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

Read more about gov't legislation/regulation in Computerworld's Gov't Legislation/Regulation Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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