Saturday, December 12, 2015

Sens. Cruz and Sessions Introduce H-1B Reduction/Reform Bill

In sharp contrast to the Grassley-Durbin bill calling for some useful modifications of the H-1B program, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) have introduced legislation that would just about terminate the H-1B worker program, as they announced in a press release.

This is the most sweeping anti-H-1B legislation to be introduced into Congress in my memory.

Sessions, chair of the Senate's immigration subcommittee, has long been opposed to the H-1B program because it denies jobs to some U.S. workers and reduces wages for many others. Cruz, now a candidate for president, was, until recently, a champion of expanding the program.

In fact, during the 2013 debate on the Gang of Eight's "comprehensive immigration reform" bill, Cruz, at the committee level, introduced a failed amendment that would have boosted the ceilings on new H-1B admissions from 85,000 to 325,000, as I reported at the time.

The Cruz-Sessions bill is in harmony with the Texas senator's overall current immigration policy, hailed as "imperfect but a big step forward" by Mark Krikorian in a posting last month.

The Cruz-Sessions legislation, the American Jobs First Act of 2015 (S.2394), would set a minimum wage of $110,000 a year for new H-1Bs, which would seriously dampen employers' interest in the program, as they usually pay much less than that for their...
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