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senate Bill S. 153

Should More Immigrants With Special Skills Be Welcomed Into The U.S.?

Argument in favor

Upping the number of H-1B visas the U.S. approves will increase the amount of skilled labor available to American businesses. Their diverse talents will in turn help fuel economic growth.

tea's Opinion
···
02/16/2015
The notion that "there are only so many jobs, and if there is one extra person in the country there would be 'one less job'" is ill-founded and irrational. The influx of these skilled workers will stimulate the economy, so it has immediate benefits for the U.S. This bill also includes measures to strengthen our country's STEM education and training, so it's also good for the U.S. in the long run.
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BananaNeil's Opinion
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03/22/2015
Improve our workforce. Help outsiders come to a thriving society where they can be of great contribution. Absolutely.
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ThomasParker's Opinion
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06/01/2015
Immigration helped build the U.S. into a prosperous nation. Today, the welfare state entices immigration instead of freedom and opportunity, and onerous regulations on labor and employment make hiring needlessly difficult. Our policy should be complete open borders with only 2 conditions: no welfare, and no terrorists.
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Argument opposed

There are millions of Americans who are struggling to find work, some of whom are qualified to perform the work that the H-1B visa recipients would be doing. This is quite literally a "they're taking our jobs" moment.

Karthik's Opinion
···
04/06/2015
This helps only to bring more cheaper labor to US to benefit companies. It doesn't mention about any equivalent ratio of green card increase. So this will make the wait times for the green cards from current 4 to 10 years to 50+ years, which will enslave law abiding legal immigrants. So I strongly oppose any bill that doesn't address the current green card backlog, which will help the immigrants to create new businesses.
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David's Opinion
···
04/07/2015
It is bad enough that we don't use our own skilled workers and want to take away more jobs from Legal Americans? Aren't American businesses happy with paying there own countrymen?
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PacificCstar's Opinion
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06/11/2015
These jobs should go to U.S. Citizens, not people here to earn money and take it home.
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What is Senate Bill S. 153?

This bill would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to establish an annual cap on H-1B nonimmigrant visas. These are the visas that allow employers in the U.S. to temporarily hire workers from foreign countries for specialty occupations for up to six years. 


Under this legislation, the number of these H-1B visas being offered would be raised to somewhere between 115,000 and 195,000 — depending on market conditions and existing demand. Currently, the annual cap on H-1B visas is 65,000 (though usually more are granted because of rollover).


H-1B visas are offered to foreign workers trained in “specialty occupations” — flexibly defined to include architecture, biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and health, education, law, business specialities, among other fields.


If an H-1B visa holder has a spouse, the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS) would be directed to offer them a work permit so they can also work in the U.S.


The DHS Secretary and the Secretary of State would be prohibited from denying an application or petition to extend a previously approved H-1B or L-visa (for workers transferred within their company into the U.S.) unless:

  • There was a material error in the previous application or petition approval.

  • A substantial change in circumstances has happened that makes the applicant ineligible for such status.

  • New information has been discovered that adversely impacts the eligibility of the employer or applicant.

Impact

Foreign workers with H-1B visas, their families and employers, people in the U.S. who are qualified for specialty occupations, the DHS, the Department of State, the Department of the Treasury.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 153

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note:

Currently the number of H-1B visas issued annually is 65,000 for first-time applicants, although the first 20,000 applications for workers who have a master’s degree or higher are exempted from the limit.


The I-Squared Act was previously introduced in 2013 during the 113th Congress, but it failed to progress from the Senate Judiciary committee.


In Depth:

An H-1B visa holder whose employment relationship ends (voluntarily or involuntarily) before the expiration of his or her authorized admission would maintain their legal status for 60 days if an employer files a petition to extend, change, or adjust the person’s status during that period.


The Secretary of State would be directed to authorize a qualifying applicant to an H-1B visa who have previously been admitted under an E-visa (for traders and investors), H-visa (temporary workers), L-visa (intra-company transferees), O-visa (extraordinary ability in the sciences, education, business, athletics, or entertainment), or P-visa (athletes, artists, and entertainers) to renew his or her visa in the U.S.


The foreign student visa requirement that an individual has no intention of abandoning their foreign residence would be eliminated.


The per country numerical limitation for employment-based immigrants would be eliminated, and the per country family limit would be increased. These provisions would take effect in the 2016 fiscal year.


The Chinese Student Protection Act of 1992 would be amended to eliminate the provision requiring the reduction of annual Chinese immigrant visas to offset status adjustments.


Exclusions from employment-based immigrant limitations would be put in place for visa holders who:

  • Are the spouse or child of an employment-based immigrant.

  • Have a master’s degree or higher in a STEM field (science, technology, engineering, and math) from a school qualified under the Higher Education Act of 1965.


H-1B employer fees would be increased, and a fee on employment-based visa petitions would be established. These fees would be used to fund STEM education and training.


This bill would establish in the Treasury Department a Promoting American Ingenuity Account (PAIA) to enhance U.S. economic competitiveness by:

  • Strengthening STEM education and ensuring that schools have access to well-trained STEM teachers.

  • Strengthening the elementary and secondary curriculum, including efforts to increase computer science course availability.

  • Helping colleges and universities produce more graduates in fields needed by American employers.


3 percent of PAIA deposits would be allocated for grants to establish American Dream Accounts. Provisions regarding fund allocations, state grant applications, and approved grant activities would be included.


Nothing in this legislation’s STEM funding requirements should be interpreted as allowing the Secretary of Education or any other federal official to approve the content or academic achievement standards of a state.


Media:

Sponsoring Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) Press Release

Washington Post

Law360

The Hill (In Favor)

Independent Journal Review (Opposed)

Cato Institute (In Favor)

(Photo Credit: Flickr user masha_k_sh)

AKA

I-Squared Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to authorize additional visas for well-educated aliens to live and work in the United States, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJanuary 13th, 2015
    The notion that "there are only so many jobs, and if there is one extra person in the country there would be 'one less job'" is ill-founded and irrational. The influx of these skilled workers will stimulate the economy, so it has immediate benefits for the U.S. This bill also includes measures to strengthen our country's STEM education and training, so it's also good for the U.S. in the long run.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    This helps only to bring more cheaper labor to US to benefit companies. It doesn't mention about any equivalent ratio of green card increase. So this will make the wait times for the green cards from current 4 to 10 years to 50+ years, which will enslave law abiding legal immigrants. So I strongly oppose any bill that doesn't address the current green card backlog, which will help the immigrants to create new businesses.
    Like (20)
    Follow
    Share
    Improve our workforce. Help outsiders come to a thriving society where they can be of great contribution. Absolutely.
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    It is bad enough that we don't use our own skilled workers and want to take away more jobs from Legal Americans? Aren't American businesses happy with paying there own countrymen?
    Like (5)
    Follow
    Share
    Immigration helped build the U.S. into a prosperous nation. Today, the welfare state entices immigration instead of freedom and opportunity, and onerous regulations on labor and employment make hiring needlessly difficult. Our policy should be complete open borders with only 2 conditions: no welfare, and no terrorists.
    Like (4)
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    It's not a "taking our jobs" moment. The immigration applications are REALLY tough - employers are required to prove that they couldn't source the skills locally. Yes we need more home-grown talent, but until then let's be pragmatic.
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    I hired a person on an H4 visa and he was a highly skilled addition to our team of employees. His wife, however, could not work causing hardships for his family.
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    It seems that conservatives struggle with this contradiction. They tend to be free-trade, but against legal immigration. Those two political policies are very similar concepts, because they both increase competition and productivity. If the conservatives want to continue having a high standard of living, they must accept the fact that our country is competing in the global economy and our workers will have to adapt.
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    These jobs should go to U.S. Citizens, not people here to earn money and take it home.
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    The current H1B policies are often simply a way for companies to hire less expensive foreign workers even when there are usually existing US citizens with the needed skills, unemployed and looking for work.
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    No. This request is a 'self incriminating' request on the part of the Govt. The list of specialty occupations are primarily a STEM education based list. Evaluate the 'costs' of legislation to collect and analyze data that would be employed by DOE and other Govt agencies for purposes of the US being more competitive. No outsourcing. Exception is to privatize the STEM solutions model to private sector.
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    Having a highly skilled work force is something every country should strive for.
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    H1-B displaces Americans in favor of immigrants. Americans should come first in America.
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    Companies only want cheap labor, that's why they also don't want a minimum wage increase. It's called greed.
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    We have too many workers in US who need jobs
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    Yes . We needn't settle for illegals living off welfare , we don't want thugs or drug trafficking.we need the best kinds of immigrants out there .those who can make something from themselves . If they are skilled or talented it means they have many opportunities and it would be a benefit for our economy .we are a country built on immigrants. THESE people can create businesses thus creating more jobs as well
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    We need them....to help us ..it's just that simple.
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    Have citizens trained to do these jobs and pay them a competitive wage. Build our people to support our country.
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    Keep the jobs for true Americans!
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    All immigrants should be welcomed into the US. However I think there should be protection for American workers. Level the playing field.
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