The basic goal of our high-skilled immigration regime should be to enhance the competitiveness of U.S. employers by enabling them to tap top-flight international talent and workers with specific skill sets. The goal is not to provide a limitless pool of entry-level workers who, in the aggregate, can drive down the native born workforce’s wages. But companies who identify specific needs that they cannot fill with the native workforce should be able to access foreign workers while guaranteeing wages that protect against wage deflation for all workers.
Congress should adopt the following restrictions to ensure that the H-1B program promotes the goal of enhancing U.S. competitiveness:
- Prohibit the use of visas by staffing companies. Companies filing an H-1B petition should be required to attest that the H-1B worker will be supervised and controlled by the H-1B employer, thus preventing so-called “job shops” or “body shops” from participating in the H-1B program.
- Bar companies with more than 50 employees whose workforce is comprised of more than 50 percent foreign workers from the H-1B program unless they can establish to the satisfaction of the Department of Labor that they pay all of their employees more than 125 percent of the prevailing wage and can establish a recruitment program for U.S. workers that exceeds industry standards.
- Prevent temporary work visas, such as H-1B visas and L-1 visas, from being made available to foreign nationals who will use those visas to “shadow” U.S. workers in order to allow the jobs performed by those U.S. workers to be moved offshore.
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