This new H1B legislation, if passed, will give preference to foreigners studying in the US

Two of the US senates- Senator Chuck Grasley and Dick Durban-recently announced that they will introduce a legislation under which preference will be given to foreigners studying in American universities. This move will hurt the Indian IT firms as it will make the H-1B visa rules strict.

If the bill is passed, it will require US Citizenship and Immigration Services to prioritise for the first time annual allocation of H-1B visas and will ensure that the "best and brightest" students will be educated in the US receive preference for an H-1B visa.

In a statement issued by the Senators, they said that the preference system also gives a leg up to advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills.

"Congress created these programmes to complement America's high-skilled workforce, not replace it. Unfortunately, some companies are trying to exploit the programmes by cutting American workers for cheaper labour. We need programmes dedicated to putting American workers first. When skilled foreign workers are needed to meet the demands of our labour market, we must also ensure that visa applicants who honed their skills at American colleges and universities are a priority over the importation of more foreign workers. Our bill takes these steps to ensure that the programmes work for Americans and skilled foreign workers alike," Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said.

According to Durbin, the legislation will restore Congress' original intent in the H-1B and L-1 visa programmes by increasing enforcement, modifying wage requirements and securing protections for both American workers and visa holders.

"Reforming the H-1B and L-1 visa programmes is a critical component of fixing our broken immigration system and must be included in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. For years, foreign outsourcing companies have used loopholes in the laws to displace qualified American workers and facilitate the outsourcing of American jobs. The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act would end these abuses and protect American and foreign workers from exploitation. I thank Senator Grassley for partnering with me on this important bipartisan legislation," Durbin said.

The bill will hurt outsourcing companies the most as they import large numbers of H-1B and L-1 workers for temporary training purposes only to send the workers back to their home countries to do the same job

According to the statement, it would prohibit companies with more than 50 employees, of which at least half are H-1B or L-1 holders, from hiring additional H-1B employees.

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