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House Committee Approves Bipartisan H-1B Visa Reform Bill

by Countable | 11.15.17

The House Judiciary Committee met Wednesday morning to approve the Protect and Grow American Jobs Act, which would overhaul the H-1B visa program.

Currently, the H-1B visa program requires employers to recruit and hire qualified American workers before asking for more H-1B visas, and promise not to layoff U.S. employees to replace them with H-1B workers within a certain timeframe. But employers can avoid those requirements by hiring "exempt" H-1B workers who have earned a masters degree or higher, or would be paid $60,000 or more annually.

The bill, introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Scott Peters (D-CA), would eliminate the masters degree exemption and increase the salary threshold to $100,000.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte offered the following statement after the bill’s passage on a voice vote:

"Our immigration programs must put American workers and our nation’s interests first, and unfortunately that is not the case currently with the H-1B visa program. The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act makes much-needed reforms to the H-1B program to curtail abuse of the system and protect American workers.”

It’s not yet clear when the bill will be brought to the House floor, but you can read more about it below, or hit the Take Action button to tell your reps whether they should support it.

— Eric Revell

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(Photo Credit: Steven Debenport / iStock)

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