A bill by California Rep. Darrell Issa about H-1B visa allocations was passed by the House Judiciary Committee on a Wednesday morning. This bill was specifically focused on the H-B1 dependent companies. A company is known to be H-1B dependent when 15 percent or more employees in that company are H-1B visa holders. According to Issa’s bill, it will be even more difficult for the H-1B dependent companies to get the work permits now.
Issa’s bill is another step toward the termination the foreign worker programs by the administration of Trump. As they state it, it is full of loopholes can threaten American jobs around. The trump administration has already targeted H-1B dependent companies and this bill abuses the h-1B visa program. This program currently allocates around 85,000 visas to highly skilled and talented workers. Rep. Darrell Issa’s bill would be a first legislative step toward altering the visa eligibility of United States. According to the IT services firms in India, this move, by the administration of United States, targets them. These firms include Infosys, Wipro and Tata Consultancy services. Around 2015, a utility company Southern California Edison (which is in Issa’s district) let around 500 IT workers go. This was after they hired 2 H-1B dependent outsourcing firms. Some of these workers who were laid off, said that they had to train their visa-holding replacements, which was in fact an anecdote or rumor that was used in the campaign trail by President Trump.
Issa said, ‘We are happy to have additional workers brought in to fill gaps. What we do not want is where they clearly displace American workers for less money’. He also insisted that the outsourcing firms of India would need to keep in mind and meet the new set standards which are laid out in the ‘Protect and Grow American Jobs Act’ and have also asked for their guarantee that when they are hired there will be no American layoffs.
In the deal made with the California Rep. Zoe Lofgren, the bill defines several provisions for H-1B dependent firms. The new bill is more likely to change the definition of H-1B dependent firms. Originally, the 15 percent of the workforce needed to be H-1B visa holders, this threshold is redefined to be 20 percent. The bill is set to eliminate certain other exemptions so the net impact is set to on a much broader level.
Furthermore, Issa’s bill will eliminate the exemption for the H-1B workers who have advanced degrees. It also announces a minimum salary raise for the workers with H-1B visa holders from $60,000 to $90,000 annually. It requires some specific H-1B firms to attest that will not replace a United States worker, in between their whole employment which also includes the employment of a third party or a consulting firm. The recent, active law requires the completed attestation 90 days before and 90 days after when an H-1B petition is filed. The bill also requires the H-1B dependent firms to submit a report, which summarizes the number of the United States workers that applied for the job, the clean efforts taken to recruit United States workers and the reasons due to which the job was not offered to those particular Unites States candidates. It also requires the H-1B dependent firms to pay the workers, at least the average salary which is paid to other workers who come under same occupational category and in the same employment area. The bill gives the authority to the Labor Department so that they would conduct at least five random investigations of the H-1B dependent companies annually. These companies will have to pay $495 fee for these investigations.
The outsourcing firms in India state the Issa’s bill as a discrimination against them. Most of these firms are indeed classified as the H-1B dependent companies. The NASSCOM President R. Chandrashekar responded to these provisions by the bill. ‘If you’re looking at protecting American workers, we don’t have a problem with these provisions applying to all companies, but these provisions are applicable only to a subset of companies and applicable in such a way that targets Indian companies’